As a part of its focus and reform on cultural activities, the Chinese cultural regulator has banned all advertisements during longer TV dramas.
Starting from 1 January of the new year, no adverts will be allowed to interrupt programmes that last for at least 45 minutes.
Communist Party ‘spirit’
Chinese authorities have said that this is in line with new ideals that were brought forth and agreed upon in a recent Communist Party meeting. The new focus on culture is in accordance with the ‘spirit’ of the Community Party, authorities said.
Senior leaders have said that moves such as the banning of TV adverts are part of a ‘socialist culture’ that they are trying to develop.
However, no authorities have expanded upon what exactly China means by the term.
The move does not seem strange or wrong to Party members, who know that the Communist Party has always maintained control over cultural activities.
In a recent debaucle, however, the Ministry of Culture had to cancel the first annual Chinese Peace Prize, China’s answer to the Nobel Peace Prize which last year was given to a Chinese prisoner considered a dissident and dangerous by the government.
Artists that the Ministry of Culture put in charge of the prize chose Vladimir Putin, after which the ministry shut down the proceedings.
As is evident, this debacle has not deterred the Communist Party from continuing its mission to control and maintain aspects of public culture.
Television stations are understandably upset about the latest move, as it means a massive loss of revenue.
However, they have no clout against the Chinese State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT), which said that the newest regulations are important as part of a new attitude towards culture and cultural expressions.
The SARFT website states that “Radio and television are a mouthpiece of the party,” and that these means of disseminating information are “an important propoganda front in cultural thought.”
This is not the first time television stations have been subject to regulations by the Communist Party, as a few months ago a successful talent programme called Super Girl was ordered off the air.
But the newest ban on commercials seems to be just the tip of the iceberg, as seniors leaders in China have indicated that they will keep a closer eye on broadcasters.