China’s State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television, a government bureau tasked with
eliminating all television programming other than the CCTV Evening News overseeing a big chunk of China’s entertainment business, has been tightening up Chinese television over the last few years, banning everything from mid-show advertising breaks to shows that include time travel. At a recent forum, SARFT assistant director Li Wei said that in order to avoid television being excessively vulgar and entertaining, SARFT feels internet celebrities and people involved in scandals should not be allowed as guests on television programs.
At present, this is just SARFT’s opinion, but policy seems soon to follow. Speaking about popular TV shows inviting internet celebrities as guests, Li Wei said: “We will quickly correct and reverse this problem; you can’t make the same mistake over and over.”
So internet celebrities will be confined to the internet again, or so it seems. How will SARFT actually define who is an internet celebrity? How big a scandal will one need to be involved in to be banned from TV? These questions remain unanswered. But never fear, your favorite internet celebrities will still be available on the internet, which SARFT isn’t in charge of regulating.