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China Arts & Entertainment

Entertainment Shows and Foreign Programs Banned from Prime Time TV in China

China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) issued a notice this weekend that Chinese television stations should refrain from broadcasting TV dramas “focused on entertaining” or “programs with foreign elements” during primetime.

Manya Koetse

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China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) issued a notice this weekend that Chinese television stations should refrain from broadcasting TV dramas “focused on entertainment” or “programs with foreign elements” during primetime.

China’s SAPPRFT issued a notice this weekend regarding new regulations on primetime TV in China. The announcement, titled “Central Notice regarding the Orientation of Variety Channels and Platforms Broadcasting Cultural Items” (总局关于把电视上星综合频道办成讲导向, 有文化的传播平台的通知), was cited by all major official news outlets in China. The new guidelines drew some criticism on Chinese social media.

The 5-page notice was also shared on Weibo.

With the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China coming up this autumn, authorities have recently been strengthening control over Chinese websites, online videos, and television content.

The latest guidelines prescribe that TV series about “sensitive topics,” TV dramas “too focused on entertaining” (“娱乐性较强、题材内容较敏感的电视剧”), and programs with “foreign elements” should be banned from prime time TV in China.

Instead, authorities “encourage” TV channels to “increase the number and frequency of programs about things such as the public good, culture, science & technology, and economy” (“总局鼓励电视上星综合频道在黄金时段增加公益、文化、科技、经济类节目的播出数量和频次”).

China has around 2500 television channels at central, provincial, municipal and county level. Although they are commercialized, and often owned by a mixed group of investors, they are still supervised by the SAPPRFT and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) – all television stations have to adhere to government broadcasting guidelines.

According to Xinhua News and Global Times, the latest measures are meant to contain the “hyping of pop stars” (“追星炒星”). Chinese television programs should rather focus on celebrities with “high moral standards” who offer “an educational value for the society.”

The programmes aired by China Central Television (CCTV), China’s main state broadcaster, should “serve as an example” for other channels, Xinhua said.

 

“Now we’ll all just have to watch the red classics, worship the Party and adore the military.”

 

Luo Ping, a media expert with the Communication University of China, was quoted by Global Times; about restricting programs with foreign elements on Chinese TV, Luo said: “Without careful examination, these foreign programs could easily deliver negative or harmful messages about our country, which will have a huge social impact.”

Although discussions of this topic were limited on Chinese social media, the people who commented on the latest measures were not pleased.

China has one of the world’s most booming TV drama industries in the world. Daily, millions of Chinese TV drama fans tune in to their favorite shows – nothing is trending more often on Chinese social media than the titles of the most popular TV dramas.

“Oh man, now I can only watch the news when I get home from work..”, one netizen complained.

Another female Weibo user commented on the latest guidelines with a short monologue:

“What do you think about the latest restrictions?”
– “Can I use profanities?”
“No you can’t.”
– “Then I have nothing to say.”

“Now we’ll all just have to watch the red classics, worship the Party and adore the military,” one anonymous Weibo user wrote.

By Manya Koetse

Thanks to Miranda Zhou Barnes (abearandapig.com).

©2017 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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China Celebs

Meet Ding Zhen: Khampa Tibetan “Horse Prince” Becomes Social Media Sensation

Ding Zhen’s quiet life out in the grasslands is seemingly over.

Luke Jacobus

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A Khampa Tibetan farmer has become an online sensation in China due to his handsome features. His overnight fame, which comes with legions of adoring fans and TV show invitations, has sparked discussions about the often-overwhelming loss of privacy that can accompany online stardom.

The recent rise to internet fame of a young man named Ding Zhen (丁真) has sparked controversy over the benefits and downsides of e-celebdom.

The 20-year-old farmer, who lives in Litang in the Kham region of Tibet, found accidental online fame after being captured in a blogger’s photography session in Nyima County, according to a Haixia News article.

His handsome features attracted online attention, snowballing out of control after his appearance on a livestream. The young man shyly admitted to having little proficiency in reading or speaking Mandarin, but managed to express his love for raising horses.

The cameraman and other villagers apparently later publicized Ding Zhen’s name, address, and other personal info, soliciting gifts and leading some netizens to mock Ding Zhen’s village neighbors as “blood-sucking vampires.”

Ding, still unaware of his own fame, mentioned with some difficulty on the livestream that his dream was simply to become a “horse prince” (马王子) by winning his local horse races. His dream after that? To raise more horses, of course much to the delight of many Weibo users, some of whom have begun creating fan art in the young man’s honor.

Calls for Ding Zhen to open a Douyin account of his own, or even to appear on reality television shows such as The Coming One (明日之子) and Produce Camp (创造营), have inspired heated debate.

“This kind of person,” wrote one Weibo commenter, “should be riding horses and shooting arrows out on the grasslands; he shouldn’t be imprisoned in Vanity Fair by your fan club’s cultural values.”

Others worried that this young man, “uncorrupted by the world,” might be taken advantage of by others for financial gain.

This concern over the invasiveness of online fans likely stems from previous incidents where ordinary Chinese citizens became extraordinarily famous overnight, such as in the cases of ‘Brother Sharp,’ a homeless man similarly inundated with adoring praise online for his good looks and stylish appearance, and Shanghai’s ‘Vagrant Professor,’ both of whom found their privacy constantly invaded by fans seeking photos or just a chance to meet the new stars. Soon both men could hardly walk outside without being swarmed as their private life had been effectively ended- all because they happened to become popular online.

‘Brother Sharp’ (on the left) and the ‘Vagrant Professor’ (right) both also went viral overnight.

Two phenomena unique to the Chinese internet seem to place these e-celebrities at a higher risk of being tracked down offline by their fans. One of them is the “human flesh search engine” (人肉搜索,) a massive online effort tapping into the knowledge and offline connections of netizens to track down and identify a person, often for shaming or as justice for perceived wrongdoing. The other is the highly-organized “super fan club” phenomenon prevalent in Chinese e-celeb culture, some of which boast structures rivaling the biggest corporations, with PR and financial departments. It’s no wonder then that some netizens fear for Ding Zhen’s personal life.

Many of these concerned netizens seem to particularly admire the simple, pastoral lifestyle of the “grasslands” (草原) which Ding leads, one which has been popularized in novels like Jin Yong’s Legends of the Condor Heroes (射鵰英雄傳), which details the adventures of the young Guo Jing, a Chinese boy who joins the court of Genghis Khan. The novel has been read by millions across China and has become a prominent source of political metaphors on the Chinese web. One commenter exhorted others to “Let him become his own hero, a horse prince! Don’t let the worst impulses of the internet corrupt him.”

With the question “Should Ding Zhen leave the grasslands?” (#丁真该不该离开草原发展#) becoming a trending topic all of its own, it seems opinions about his popularity are fiercely divided. “I hope this handsome guy can make his own choices,” writes one Weibo user: “..and no matter whether he becomes a star or not, I hope he can keep such an innocent heart!”

According to the latest reports, Ding has received a job offer from a Chinese state-owned company since his unexpected rise to online fame. CGTN writes that the ‘horse prince’ has now signed the contract, but they do not mention if this new job will allow him to do what he loves most – raising horses and being out in the grasslands.

 
By Luke Jacobus

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©2020 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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China Arts & Entertainment

Oh, the Drama! Chinese Opera Performance Turns into Stage Fight as Drunken Man Attacks Actors

This local traditional opera performance unexpectedly turned into a stage fight.

Manya Koetse

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On October 9 in Zhejiang’s Lishui city (Laozhu Town), a theatrical performance unexpectedly turned very dramatic when a drunken man stormed on stage to fight with the performers.

A video showing the Chinese opera performance being disturbed by the drunkard, turning it into a chaotic stage scene, is gaining major attention on Chinese social media.

The incident occurred Friday night around 9 pm, when the Laozhu Theatrical Troupe was performing.

Videos of the incident that are circulating online show how one man comes on stage, attacking one of the actors. The scene escalates into a big fight when others try to intervene. The police were quick to arrive at the scene.

Various news reports suggest the man started to act out after getting into an argument with one of the ‘Huadan’ (花旦) performers of the troupe. In traditional Chinese opera, the Huadan characters are young female roles, often seductive in appearance and quick with their words.

Local police posted on Weibo that the chaos was caused by a 33-year-old local who started to become aggressive after he had too much to drink. The man is charged with disorderly conduct and is currently detained.

The case received even more attention on social media when it turned out that the 33-year old troublemaker is the son of the head of a neighboring village.

Many Chinese netizens feel that the man is spared by Chinese news media outlets, which only report about a “drunken man” who was “causing trouble.” They insist that the real story should be properly reported.

“The son of the village chief took liberties with a huadan actress who rejected him, and then he kicked her, causing her to lose consciousness. He then beat up other actors,” some commenters explain.

“He is not just a ‘drunkard’, he’s the son of the village secretary.”

“What an explosive performance it was!” one Weibo blogger writes.

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2020 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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