China clamps down on cartoons as it steps up campaign against entertainment industry

·2 min read
Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses the general debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly via video, in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 21, 2021. (Photo by Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via Getty Images)
Chinese President Xi Jinping's communist party has clamped down on the entertainment industry. (Getty)

China has said it will encourage cartoon producers to create "healthy" content as it steps up efforts to reign in its entertainment industry.

The Communist Party aims to clamp down on violent, vulgar or pornographic content.

Broadcasting regulator The National Radio and Television Administration said children and young people were the main audiences for cartoons, and agencies need to broadcast content that "upholds truth, goodness and beauty".

After years of runaway growth, Chinese regulators have been to trying to strengthen control by tightening oversight over a broad number of industries ranging from technology, education and culture.

At the start of the month, China ordered broadcasters to shun artists with "incorrect political positions" and "effeminate" styles, and said a patriotic atmosphere needed to be cultivated.

Police officers remove fans standing outside the opening ceremony of the 17th Shanghai International Film Festival, June 14, 2014. REUTERS/Aly Song  (CHINA - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
Police officers remove fans standing outside the opening ceremony of the 17th Shanghai International Film festival (Reuters)

China increased penalties for actors who had engaged in illegal or "unethical" behaviour, and punished agencies who partnered with them

The NRTA also bolstered the regulation of stars' salaries.

This came in the wake of a series of celebrity scandals involving tax evasion and sexual assault.

Some comments on Chinese social media site Weibo were critical of the new guidelines for broadcasters.

"Actually aesthetics should be diverse," said one person.

Another person added: "Isn't this a kind of discrimination?" 

The clamp downs have been part of a wider effort to intervene in all aspects of the country's culture and economy, with the government also promising to tackle inequality, soaring property prices and profit-seeking education institutions.

The Communist Party celebrated its centenary in July, and President Xi Jinping marked the occasion by promising to "enhance" the party's powers and strengthen the unity of the Chinese people.

The party can censor anything they believe violates core socialist values and already have stringent rules on content ranging from video games to movies and music.

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