Tuesday, July 16, 2024
HomeAsiaChina cancels numerous TV dramas portraying family conflicts, Radio Free Asia reports

China cancels numerous TV dramas portraying family conflicts, Radio Free Asia reports

China’s internet censors have removed numerous online TV dramas that depicted negative aspects of family life, in line with the Communist Party’s efforts to promote family values and address declining birth rates.

Video platforms Douyin and Kuaishou deleted over 700 videos of micro-dramas showcasing conflicts within families, citing the intense emotions these portrayals evoked, as reported by the government’s “Rumor-refuting platform” on Weibo.

The crackdown is part of President Xi Jinping’s initiative to encourage marriage and family life in response to the significant drop in new marriages in recent years.

Statistics show a dramatic decline in the number of first-time marriages in China, with less than 11 million recorded in 2022, marking a 56% decrease over the past nine years.

Despite the policy change allowing couples to have up to three children in 2021, birth rates have continued to fall, reaching 9.02 million in 2023.

In response to these trends, efforts are being made to incentivize marriage and childbirth, including proposals for flexible working policies, fertility treatment coverage, and extended maternity leave.

Changing priorities

However, many young women in China are opting to delay or forgo marriage and children due to societal inequalities, patriarchal norms, and the financial burden of starting a family.

Recent studies indicate a shift in popular culture towards themes of personal freedom and economic independence over traditional romantic notions.

The recent censorship of micro-dramas depicting family conflicts reflects the authorities’ desire to promote positive family values and discourage narratives that could deter individuals from pursuing family life.

To reinforce these efforts, the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television has introduced new regulations requiring licenses for online TV show distribution.

‘Positive energy’

Commentators suggest that the crackdown on micro-dramas stems from a government preference for content that aligns with the country’s vision for a prosperous future.

Producers of micro-dramas are now subject to tighter regulations, signaling a shift towards more controlled content creation that aligns with government messaging.

The classification and review system implemented for micro-dramas will ensure compliance with government guidelines, with higher-budget productions facing direct oversight from regulatory bodies.

Lower-budget shows will be managed at the provincial level, while the lowest-budget productions will be subject to platform censorship.

Translated by Luisetta Mudie. Edited by Malcolm Foster.

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