China’s NRTA Issues 8 “New Commandments” to Curb Improper Practices in Entertainment Industry

In the past few weeks, China has been cracking down on “unhealthy fan circle” behavior and “tainted artists” who were engaged in immoral behavior. Many different performance arts associations have called for boycotts of celebrities that are morally corrupt and pushed for reforms in managing these artists and having “proper” fandom behavior.

Social media platforms like Weibo have responded by implementing permanent bans or suspensions on accounts violating their guidelines with behaviors such as inciting fan wars, malicious attacks on other users, provoking boycotts, and more. They also took down all sorts of celebrity ranking charts and removed the CP super topics.

Music streaming services such as QQ Music, NetEase Music, and Tencent Music, have given up exclusive licensing rights. The former two services also introduced new policies to curb sales manipulation and “fan consumption power” by only limiting users to purchase one copy of an item per account. Video streaming giants such as Tencent and iQIYI have also optimized their unlocking process for fast track episodes in response to consumer complaints and criticism from the Shanghai Consumer Council.

On September 2, China’s National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA), which is the highest level of government authority overseeing the television, film, and radio industries, issued a notice in which they set forth 8 new policies to strengthen the management of performance shows and those who work in the industry.

  1. Firmly boycott members who break the law and are morally corrupt.
    • Members whose political stances aren’t proper and aren’t in line with the Communist Party and the country won’t be used. Members who break the law and violate regulations, cross the bottom line in social fairness and justice will not be used. Members who go against public order and good customs, words and actions are immoral will be not used.
  2. Firmly against discussions on high traffic driving celebrities.
    • Television, radio, and online video platforms must not broadcast idol development programs, cannot air celebrity children attending variety, entertainment and reality shows. Survival type shows must strictly control voting system settings, cannot allow for off site voting, charting, and boosting vote events and channels, strictly forbidden to guide and encourage fans to spend money for votes under the guise of shopping, renew memberships and other material means, and firmly reject unhealthy fandom culture.
  3. Firmly boycott pan-entertaining.
    • Promote excellent traditional Chinese culture, revolutionary culture, advanced socialist culture. Establish the correct aesthetic direction for programs, strictly control the selection of actors and guests, performance style, clothing and make up, and more. Firmly put an end to “sissy/effeminate and more and abnormal aesthetics.” Firmly boycott pan-entertainment tendencies such as hyping up, flaunting wealth, rumors about private lives, negative hot trends, “lowly internet celebrities”, and more.
  4. Firmly boycott high film and tv salaries.
    • Strictly implement regulations for actors and guests’ salaries, advocate and encourage actors and guests to assume social responsibility, participate in welfare programs. Severely punish behaviors such as high salary violations, yin yang contracts, and tax evasion.
  5. Practically strengthen management of industry personnel.
    • Strictly implement for hosts to get licensed to work and regulate hosts to participate in social activities and publishing of online information. Strengthen political awareness training for industry personnel, deeply carry out Marxist views on news and literary and art teachings and have definitive stances and feelings of the people. Improve professional ethics, consciously resist temptation of fame and money, cannot use work identity and personal reputation to obtain improper profits, consciously accept social supervision, be a role model for social ethics and be a creator of positive energy.
  6. Develop professional and authoritative literary and art commentary.
    • Adhere to proper political orientations, public opinion, values, promote truth, goodness, and beauty, refute fake, evil, and ugliness. Prioritize social benefits and values on top, seriously and objectively evaluate programs. Scientifically observe viewership ratings, click-through rates, and other quantitative indicators, increase the promotion and application of “China’s visual and audio big data.”
  7. Fully develop the use of industry organizations.
    • Broadcast television and online video and radio industry associations must further improve industry norms and self discipline conventions, and actively conduct ethical reviews. Strengthen ideological and political, professional ethics and other educational training, establish a normalized training mechanism, optimize teaching content, strengthen case teaching, use cases to explain and illustrate methods. Criticize the industry’s unhealthy phenomena in a clear-cut manner, firmly oppose the fandom culture and bad habits of the industry, and maintain the good atmosphere of the industry.
  8. Effectively carry out management duties.
    • Administrative departments of television and radio broadcasting industries must enhance their political position, implement ideological work responsibility system. Must pay attention and listen to the people’s voices, actively respond to the people’s concerns, firmly say no breaking the law, moral misconduct , star making and hyping, and pan-entertainment.

This wouldn’t be the first time the NRTA had implemented policy reforms. With the emergence of China’s new generation of idols from survival shows in 2018, China had already implemented an “effeminate ban” and banned tattoos, male artists wearing earrings, non-standard hair dyes, and more. However, it seems like some of these restrictions have eased in recent years.

Credit: Weibo (1)

2 thoughts on “China’s NRTA Issues 8 “New Commandments” to Curb Improper Practices in Entertainment Industry

    1. I’m interested to see how their entertainment industry will be impacted too. I wonder if the shows will be as interesting.

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