In light of the increasing number of foreign shows being adapted locally, China has decided to put a stop to them before they fully dominate Chinese TV screens.
According to China Daily, on Sunday, China's broadcast regulator made an announcement limiting the number of foreign-inspired TV shows aired in the country. This move is meant to help boost the innovation of domestic, homemade programs.
Under the new guidelines, overseas programs can only be broadcast on satellite TV channels if they are approved by the local regulators. They also need to follow a filing procedure, according to the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT).
Time reported that a number of Chinese satellite TV channels have earned a lot of money by simply creating local versions of foreign shows. By simply importing the copyrights, these foreign-inspired shows become a big hit and extremely popular in the country.
For example, The Running Man was based on a South Korean SBS show, while The Voice of China is patterned after The Voice of Holland.
A photo posted by The Voice Of China 中国好声音 (@thevoiceofchina) on Oct 15, 2015 at 7:25pm PDT
For satellite TV channels, whose shows have imported copyrights, only two foreign shows can be broadcasted during prime time every day, which is from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. The notice mentioned that only one new foreign-inspired TV program will be allowed to broadcast every year, but it cannot be shown in the prime time slot during its first year.
Starting July 1, new foreign-inspired TV shows will not be allowed to be broadcast if they are not put on record.
Explaining the strict rules, SAPPRFT said that it is because most Chinese TV channels now only have very few original shows. Authorities believe that promoting locally-made programs will help tell Chinese stories and promote the Chinese spirit better.