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China

The Communist Party says “enough” to entertainment media

China’ State Administration of Radio, Film and Television demanded that networks and television channels limit their entertainment television programming.

In an article by the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Chinese government said that the Oct. 25 order was created to “build morality and promote the core values of socialism.”

According to the New York Times’ report, the Chinese ministry said the measure aims to eliminate “excessive entertainment and vulgar tendencies” and will go into effect Jan. 1. This limitation comes on the heels of restrictions placed on bloggers in the country, another blow to online whistleblowers. BBC and the New York Times.

A Reporters Without Borders article reported that China’s restrictions on Internet use increases the difficulty for companies and other institutions outside of China to offer services to Chinese customers.

In the New York Times article, Bill Bishop, a business consultant and media industry analyst in Beijing, said that he believes that the new legislation could drive television audiences to seek more video content on the Internet. Bishop added that officials could also tighten the restrictions for online video content in the future.

China’s foreign ministry spokesman Jiang Yu said in The New York Times article, “We do not accept using the excuse of ‘Internet Freedom’ to interfere in other countries’ internal practices.”

She added that China’s policy was to “maintain a good Internet environment and to safeguard public interest.”

On Oct. 26, the Communist Party’s Central Committee put forward an “Internet Management System” that would rigorously restrict social network and instant-message systems, according to the New York Times article. The proposal also indicated punishment for people who spread “harmful information,” the New York Times said.

According to a Xinhua news report, three Chinese Web users had been detained or arrested on suspicion of publishing incorrect information or “spreading rumors online.”

In China, Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, has become a way that activists can illuminate human-rights cases, according to an NPR article. The article said that despite strict Internet controls, Chinese cyber dwellers are using Weibo as an unprecedentedly powerful tool.

Sina.com owns the largest number of Weibo users in China. According to iChinastock, Sina Weibo worths $2 billion, having over 200 million users.

New York Times reporters speculated if the government will shutter Weibo.

According to The New York Times, Song Jianwu, Dean of the School of Journalism and Communication at China University of Political Science and Law, said the government worries that Weibo could turn into “an explosive device.” He believed the government will suppress Weibo in a “step-by-step fashion.”

According to Reporters Without Borders, a Beijing court’s Oct. 20 decision rejected the appeal filed by a cyber dissident Wang Lihang and upheld the nine-month jail sentence she received Aug. 12.

According to Reporters Without Borders, the newly proposed legislation would violate fundamental rights and would allow authorities to silence dissidents without providing any public justification for their actions.

Other updates from China

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