Simpsons, Mickey face a ban in China

Foreign cartoons will no more be a source of entertainment for Chinese kids. From 1 September, cartoon series produced outside of China will be banned from local broadcast between 5 pm and 8 pm. The move is an effort to give a boost to the local animation sector.

According to reports, the ban, which hasn’t been formally announced yet, is said to be in response to the popularity of anime in the Chinese market, and comes from other efforts by regulators to clamp down on international content.

It also follows a 2004 edict mandating that Chinese cartoons had to account for at least 60 per cent of a channel’s animation output.

The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) has told stations that prime time TV, from 5 pm to 8 pm, will only be allowed to show Chinese cartoons. Among those banned are The Simpsons, Teletubbies, Mickey Mouse, Blue’s Clues and popular Japanese animation will take a back seat to Chinese animation.

The first major step was taken in 2000, when SARFT requested that all foreign animations get its approval before being broadcast on Chinese TV. Since 2004 the administration has also built 15 animation industry incubators around the country.

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