China's broadcast regulator, tightening control of content, promotes 'core socialist values'

BEIJING (Reuters) - A key Chinese regulator has issued a notice demanding broadcasters distribute programs that promote “core socialist values”, and “forcefully oppose” content that celebrates money worship, hedonism, radical individualism and feudal thought.

The notice, which was issued on Friday by the State Administration of Press, Publication Radio Film and Television (SAPPRFT), provides further guidance for the creation and broadcast of program content, particularly for the country’s rapidly growing Internet platforms.

“Online programs should vigorously promote China’s revolutionary culture” advance patriotism , extol the motherland and “praise heroes”, the notice said.

President Xi Jinping has undertaken an unprecedented campaign to censor media that do not reflect the views of Communist Party leaders, while advancing traditional Chinese values that promote honesty, unity, self-improvement and self-reliance.

The government over the last year has moved to crack down on illicit content in the country’s fast-growing live-streaming market, which produced revenues of more than 30 billion yuan ($4.4 billion) last year, according to investment bank China Renaissance Securities.

Last July, China’s culture ministry announced that it had shut down 4,313 online show rooms, firing or punishing more than 18,000 anchors.

Twelve platforms were punished and ordered to make changes after offering illicit content that “promotes obscenity, violence, abets crime and damages social morality”.

SAPPRFT said in August that it would restrict social and entertainment news that promoted improper values and “Western lifestyles”.

In Friday’s notice, it said that entertainment reports should “advocate morality and talent”, while variety shows, dramas and movies should oppose “wasteful star-chasing, humdrum games and luxurious feasts”.

Online platforms also were told to establish sound internal accountability controls, and strictly address problems as they arise.

Television, radio and Internet distributors are forbidden from broadcasting “uncut” programs that have not been first reviewed by authorities, the notice said.

Reporting By Matthew Miller and Min Zhang; Editing by Kim Coghill