China: No foreign cartoons until 9

Marketplace Staff Feb 22, 2008
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China: No foreign cartoons until 9

Marketplace Staff Feb 22, 2008
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Scott Jagow: In China, the cartoon business is struggling.
It’s up against Disney and big companies from Japan. But the government has a protectionist trick up its sleeve. Coming this spring, a Chinese primetime TV ban on foreign cartoons is getting longer. Bill Marcus explains from Shanghai.


Bill Marcus: China’s 250 million kids prefer Japanese Pokeman and America’s Mickey Mouse over Chinese cartoons. A study showed that two years ago — that’s when the government implemented a 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. ban on foreign cartoons.

China says the ban grew domestic programming by more than a third. So officials hope to help the industry more by extending the ban to 9 p.m. Animation producers aren’t worried: Kids can watch foreign cartoons any time on the Internet.

Charlie Moretti’s Shanghai-based Bright Shadow Films re-records foreign cartoons for international markets:

Charlie Moretti: The Chinese industry on the cartoon network focus more on the production values on the quality and the efficiency of making the films rather than the content of the stories and the characters. And that’s where they want to shift the focus back towards now.

But there’s still a way for foreign producers to beat the ban, as long as they’re willing to share a copywrite and their revenue with Chinese producers.

In Shanghai, I’m Bill Marcus, for Marketplace.

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