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The Newest Victims Of China's TV Regulations: Infomercials

What's the Latest Development?

Last week Chinese government officials laid down yet more restrictions on satellite television networks, this time targeting infomercials: Under the new rules, infomercials get a maximum of three minutes airtime per hour, and are forbidden entirely between the hours of 6:00 pm and midnight. Also forbidden are infomercials pitching "breast firming and body slimming products" or featuring "news reporting, anchorpersons hosting and exaggerated 'hawking' voices and actions."

What's the Big Idea?

The change, which take effect on January 1 of next year, follows another last month that limits the number of new foreign-format TV shows -- in particular singing competitions that mimic Western shows such as "The Voice"-- to one a year. Besides the fact that infomercials took up a significant chunk of Chinese satellite TV airspace, the companies behind them didn't always fulfill what they promised, according to a survey by the Communist Party's People's Daily. It found that nearly half of TV shoppers were cheated at least once, and only five percent were satisfied with their purchases.

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Read it at The Wall Street Journal

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