A craze too foreign
China tries to restrict foreign entertainment online
FOR young professionals in China's cities, watchingtelevision online has become a part of daily life. InShanghai, for example, many office workers watch their favourite TV shows at their desksduring lunch-hours, on the metro on the way home, or even while walking on the city's crowdedpavements.
Foreign TV dramas are a particular attraction. They are strictly controlled on terrestrialtelevision stations, but can be watched free on China's video-streaming websites. This yearChinese viewers have been gripped by "House of Cards", an American political drama series, aswell as by several South Korean shows and the BBC's "Sherlock", which was available with anauthorised Chinese translation hours after being shown in Britain.
Yet viewers may soon find their choices more limited. Last week China's TV regulator said that,from April, any foreign series or film would need approval before being shown online. Chinesemedia say that regulators are also considering limiting the number of foreign series shownonline to a specific proportion of total output. The new rules appear aimed at closing one ofthe biggest loopholes in China's control of its media: on terrestrial TV, for example, foreigndramas are banned in prime time. Many are forbidden altogether.
It is not clear how strictly the content of foreign programmes shown online will be vetted. Butthe regulator's call for "healthy, well-made" works which "showcase good values" seems to echoa recent tightening of controls on terrestrial TV. These include bans on dramas dealing withtopics such as superstition, espionage and-bizarrely-time travel. Earlier this year Chinesewebsites were ordered to remove several American TV series; at least one of these, it wasannounced, would be shown, edited, on state TV instead. In a hint of what may follow, thegovernment broadcaster recently screened the fantasy drama "Game of Thrones"-minusnudity and violence (ie, the point).
The new controls may simply push younger viewers away from authorised providers andtowards pirate sites instead, says a Chinese academic specialising in media studies. At a timewhen China has at last begun to bring copyright infringements under control-the country'smain video-streaming websites now pay foreign producers for their TV shows-that would be astep backwards.
1.as well as 也，又
例句:You may as well go、
2.aim at 瞄准;针对;旨在;企图
例句:He drew his pistol and aimed at the enemysoldier.
3.seem to 看起来
例句:Their concern seems to be unwarranted .
4.at least 无论如何，反正
例句:She was at least that much shorter than me.