Notice Concerning Strengthening and Improving the Newspaper and Periodicals, Film and Television and Audiovisual Market

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Central Committee General Office, State Council General Office

CO No. (1994)19

All provincial, autonomous, municipal Party Committees and People’s Government, all military region Party Committees, all ministries and commissions of Central and State Organs, all Central Military Commission general offices, Party Committees of all army branches, all civic organizations:

After reform and opening up, our country’s books and periodicals, film and television and audiovisual market has sprung up exuberantly, has pushed forward cultural structural reform and cultural sector development, invigorated cultural products exchange, has towards satisfying the increasingly growing spiritual cultural needs of the masses, and stimulation of the construction of a socialist material civilization and spiritual civilization developed an important function. But, because these markets are in the initial stage of development, and the legal system is not perfected enough, management is relatively weak, and also, a number of problems not to be ignored has arisen. These mainly show in: publications of low moral quality and roughly manufactured as well as propagating pornography, violence and superstition are numerous, publications with content with grave political errors appear from time to time; lawless persons gangs offence tendencies are salient, pornography production and sale, piracy and smuggling cannot be stopped despite repeated bans; a number of publishing, distribution, printing and duplication work units has violated relevant regulations, and sols book numbers, periodical numbers, publication numbers, undertaken printing of illegal publications, some still collude in offences with criminals. Towards these problems, the masses have a strong reaction, and urgently require a solution. In order to guarantee the books and periodicals, film and television and audiovisual market’s prospering and healthy development, the following notice is formulated:

1, Fully understanding he importance of strengthening and improving books and periodicals, film and television and audiovisual market management. The cultural market is an important domain for the construction of a socialist spiritual civilisation. If problems in the cultural market are not timely solved they may gravely influence the prospering and healthy development of the cultural market, poison the mental and bodily health of the people, especially, the young, damage the construction of a socialist spiritual civilization, endanger social stability, create losses to the reform and opening up, and the modernization of socialism. Party Committees and People’s Governments of all levels must deeply comprehend the strategic thoughts of comrade Deng Xiaoping concerning “grasping with both hands, both hands must be hard”, earnestly study the series of important instructions of the Party Central Committee and comrade Jiang Zemin concerning strengthening the construction of a spiritual civilization and strengthening cultural market management, concentrate thoughts on the Centre’s guiding principles and needs, with a spirit of great responsibility towards the Party, the State, the people and posterity, strengthen cultural market management.

2, Completing ideology and principle requirements of management work. The basic goal of strengthening cultural market management, is located in stimulating prospering and healthy development of the cultural market. It is necessary, under the guidance of comrade Deng Xiaoping’s construction of socialism with Chinese characteristics theory and the basic party line, to earnestly carry out and implement “serving the people, serving socialism” and “hundred flowers bloom, hundred schools contend” policies, develop the main melody, encourage diversity, let flourish with one hand, manage with one hand. It is necessary to stimulate cultural products production business work units to even better put societal interest at the forefront, make effort to realize the unification of economic interests and societal interests, stimulate cultural markets to even better serve reform and opening up and economic construction, serve the construction of a socialist spiritual civilization, serve carrying forward ethnic culture and stimulate foreign-related cultural exchange, serving the satisfaction of the masses’ spiritual and cultural needs. Now and in the period to come, management work must especially stress grasping guidance, grasping the whole, grasping the structure, grasping benefit, lead the development of this sector to change from giving first place to scale and quantity growth to giving first place to quality and benefit raising. It is necessary to support a combination between short-term and long-term measures, a combination between administrative steps and legal means, a combination between centralized administration and daily management, a combination between the job responsibilities of individual related entities and close coordination. It is necessary to resolutely walk the road of reform and opening up, vigorously explore and establish a management system and operating mechanism conform to the socialist culture market development regulations.

3, Making market management responsibility clear. (1) Party Committees and People’s Governments of all localities must strengthen books and periodicals, film and television and audiovisual market management work leadership; Party Committee propaganda entities must perfect guidance, coordination, service and examination work. (2) All provincial, autonomous region and municipal Party Committees and People’s Governments may, according to the reality of that locality, determine books and periodicals, film and television and audiovisual market main management entities, make clear the division of duties between entities such as culture, radio and television, press and publications, industry and commerce, public security, taxation, etc., so that each performs its own function and they can mutually coordinate in the daily management work. A lesson may be learnt from a number of localities in recent years establishing a cultural market management committee grouped from all relevant entities, that is responsible under the unified leadership of the Party Committee and the People’s Government for guiding and coordination the working methods of culture management work, and perfect it during practice. (3) All cultural enterprises and institutions market business activities must be managed by the government of that locality. Cultural enterprises and institutions’ leading or sponsoring work units must strictly implement Party and State policies and guidelines concerning propaganda and culture work and culture market management rules and regulations, coordinate with the local government in strengthening inspection and supervision of their subordinate cultural enterprises, and may not obstruct investigation of local management organs of its problems. Where grave problems occur in subordinate enterprises, it is necessary to also investigate the liability of the leading or sponsoring work unit (4) Books and periodicals market, film and television market and audiovisual market management’s concrete policy and rules, will be respectively formulated by the General Administration for Press and Publications, the Ministry for Radio and Television, the Ministry of Culture. These three entities must place the work focus at strengthening macro-level management, at supervision and inspecting the implementation of Party and State policies, guidelines, laws and regulations. All major policies and reform steps concerning cultural market management, must be approved by the State Council. Relevant work units such as the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, Ministry of Public Security, State Administration of Taxation, General Administration of Customs, etc., having a significant management responsibility concerning the cultural market, must provide power to strengthen work in these areas, and manage the cultural market well together with the General Administration for Press and Publications, the Ministry for Radio and Television, the Ministry of Culture

4, Macro-level regulation is necessary for market development. In recent years, books and periodicals, television drama (films) and audiovisual products production business work units as well as certain product amount development has been overly quick, product quality is not high, it is urgently needed to implement effective macro-level regulation, in order to benefit readjustment of composition, raise quality, enhance benefit. (1) Establishment of new books and audiovisual publishing work units, must be strictly mastered, in the near future, the development amount shall be controlled. To strictly control newly established book and periodical printing plants and audiovisual duplication production lines, new establishment matters within two years after next may not be allowed by Centre and localities. (2)All localities and all entities must inspect the use of book numbers situation of their subordinate publishers. Press and Publication Bureaus shall integrate examination and approval of selected topic planning and carrying out book number use and amount appraisal. (3) Concerning television drama (film) production, the Ministry of Radio and Television must reasonably provide filming permits and single-use permission for shooting granting amounts. (4) Establishment of radio station, television stations and cable television stations, must be reasonably planned by each locality, establishment of a station must be reported to the Ministry of Radio and Television for approval. (5) All localities must consult on the determination of the development scale of book and periodical selling booths and audiovisual products sale, rental and projection points. At present, cultural life in numerous villages, especially distant places cannot nearly satisfy the needs of the masses, relevant entities and localities must adopt practical and effective steps to well resolve the problem of cultural products such as films, books, newspapers, periodicals, etc. going to the countryside, and vigorously support the development of rural cultural farms.

5, Strengthening of books and periodicals market management. To transform the weak management situation of the books and publication market, it is necessary to guard publication sources, rectify printing links, tidy up distribution channels, standardize sale activities. (1) Strengthening early management of publication work, paying close attention to establishment of books and periodicals quality assurance system. Administrative publishing entities and publishers leading work units must realistically undertake selected topics examination and approval responsibilities. Publishers must insist on implementing a manuscripts and new books reporting system, and earnestly engage in first instance, second instance and last instance, publishing works concerning sensitive issues with significant subject matter must be specially reported and approved. It is necessary to strictly implement prohibition provisions on in any way selling book numbers, periodical numbers and newspaper sheets. It is necessary to strengthen management over periodicals,  weekend newspapers, digest-type periodicals as well as internal periodicals, correct issues violating the aims of newspapers and periodicals and overstep the scope of its division of responsibilities. (2) Earnestly implement special kinds of trade management rules, strengthening printing enterprises management. Enterprises undertaking book printing must possess a books and periodicals printing licence issued by the administrative publications entity and a special trade permit issued by the public security entity. All localities must engage in one-time arranging of all printing enterprises in that locality, determinedly cancel enterprises gravely violating regulations in their dealing. Work units undertaking books and periodicals printing without permit or without authorization, must be determinedly investigated and prosecuted. Publishing work units must go to printing enterprises possessing the two permits and a business licence to print books and periodicals. Printing enterprises, when undertaking books and periodicals printing, must check and verify certificates with the original issuing work unit, and where formalities have not been strictly carries out, those that print bad books must cancel its books and periodicals printing work. (3) Handing books and publications master wholesale and wholesale work, earnest implementation of relevant regulations. Work units engaging in master wholesale work such as Xinhua bookshops, publishing and book importing, etc., must strengthen internal management, and make strict the working system, where grave problems occur, the leadership’s liability will be investigated. Other work units engaging in wholesale work must also strengthen management, those with grave problems must cease operations for rectification, or even cancel wholesale work. All work units engaged in wholesale work may not in any way transfer contract and work. Individuals may not engage in wholesale work. Underground distribution must be determinedly rooted out. (4) City and town books and periodicals sale points must be correspondingly concentrated, sell at fixed locations, and display a business licence. Those doing business shall buy stock with distribution work units approved by the administrative publication entity, and complete stock buying registration. To those who sell prohibited goods and do not explain their stock sources according to the facts, liability will be investigated as if they produced the forbidden products.

6: Strengthening film and television market. It is necessary to take raising film and television and cable television station programme quality as a focal point, and earnestly complete the following work: (1) The ministry of radio and television must further perfect film and television production work units application rules. To work units specifically engaged in film and television productions, all localities must carry out a one-time examination, and after reporting to and approval from the Ministry of radio and Television, again issue a filming permit. Work units temporarily requesting filming of television dramas (films), will be examined by the provincial-level administrative radio and television entity of their locality, and a single-use filming permit will be issues, and it will be reported to the Ministry of Radio and Television for filing. (2) Film and television drama 9film) production work units must establish and perfect a script examination system. Television dramas (films) broadcasted central television stations and local television stations, will respectively be the responsibility for organizing examination of the Ministry of Radio and Television and the provincial-level administrative radio and television entity of their locality, those that meet standards are all allowed to be broadcasted on television. (3) films, television programmes and documentaries coproduced with or made in cooperation with foreign work units, must be reported to the ministry of Radio and Television for examination and approval. Concerning films and television programmes taking part in international-character awards and exhibitions, both parties must clearly state in their agreement that the film has to be approved by our Ministry of Radio and Television. Film theatres must earnestly implement the relevant provisions of the projection permit. It is forbidden to project films not having obtained the projection permit. Internal reference films used for education or research use may not be sold, rented out or in any way be openly projected. (5) Television programmes broadcast by cable television stations shall possess a cable television programme broadcast permit issued by the provincial-level administrative television entity. Cable television stations must report monthly broadcast plans to the administrative radio and television entity of their province. Education televisions stations may not broadcast television programmes having no relation with educational content.

7, Strengthening audiovisual market management. It is necessary to earnestly carry out and implement the “Audiovisual Product Management Regulations” recently promulgated by the State Council, and complete audiovisual market management work realistically according to the provisions of the “Regulations”. In the near future, it is necessary to emphasise a good grasp of examining the following three aspects: (1) examination of audiovisual product publication, duplication, wholesale, retail, rental and projection work units business activities, on this basis, again approve and issue permits.  (2) Examination of video projection locations activity situations, it is strictly forbidden to commercially project audiovisual products specifically supplied for home use. Examination of audiovisual products for sale, rental and projection currently on the market, all those that are pirated, smuggled or have reactionary or obscene content, are to be confiscated, gathered and destroyed without exception.

8, Imported books and publications, film and television programmes and audiovisual production must be earnestly checked. (1) The yearly import planning of social sciences and literature and art books and audiovisual products, must be reported to the press and publications bureau for examination and approval after verification by the controlling entity, import outside of planning must be specifically reported for approval. (2) Film and television programmes introduced for domestic projection and audiovisual product for duplication and distribution will be managed respectively by the Ministry of Radio and Television and the General Administration for Press and Publications. Examination of imported films and television programmes is the responsibility of the Ministry of Radio and Television; examination of audiovisual products will be the responsibility of a content examination organ jointly organized by the Ministry of Radio and Television and the Ministry of Culture, to those that meet standards, a projection permit shall be issued. (3) The General Administration of Press and Publications and all local administrative publishing entities must strengthen regular inspection of books and periodicals import business work units, and of those having grave problems, the import business must be cancelled. (4) The Customs must earnestly examine imported books, film and television programmes and audiovisual products of all sorts and shapes, and prevent prohibited goods from entering the country.

9: Persistently attacking illegal publishing business activities. Piracy and pirated printing, producing pornography and selling pornography, smuggling and selling smuggled goods activities are grave, and are a prominent problem that exists at present in the books and publications, film and television programme and audiovisual markets. To these illegal and criminal activities, powerful steps must be adopted, and it must be persistently attacked, It is necessary to implement already existing market management regulations, realistically correct occurrences of non-compliance with the law, and unstrict law enforcement. Party Committees and People’s Governments of all localities must on the basis of the realistic situation of their locality, grasp the focal regions, focal sectors, focal problems, and organize propaganda in close coordination with entities such as culture, politics and law, industry commerce and tax, transportation, post, Customs, etc, get to the bottom of things, earnestly investigate and prosecute a batch of significant large cases,  according to law swiftly punishing the organizers and planners, those offering shelter, gangster ringleaders of and those concocting bad books concerning criminal activities. In order to guarantee a timely and effective attack on unlawful and criminal activities form now onwards, it is necessary to pay close attention to establish a supervision and examination system and an interregional case handling coordination council system for major cases.

10, Perfecting the regulatory system, speeding up legislative steps. (1) For all segments of the production, distribution and sale of books and periodicals, films an television programmes and audiovisual production, a complete permit system shall be established. All those engaged in production and business activities of books and periodicals, films and television programmes, etc., must at first apply for a permit; those not having a permit may not be issued a business licence by the administrative industry and commerce management entities. (2) In the year of establishment of the permit system, a registration system will be tried. Registration will be granted to those that observe discipline and law, of those displaying activities violating regulations, registration will be proposed, and time limits will be changed, of those having grave problems, permits will be cancelled, administrative industry and commerce management entities will simultaneously revoke business permits. All localities’ grass-roots culture market management organs must establish production business work units market activities files, and strengthen their day-to-day examination. (3) Establishment of a books and periodicals, film and television and audiovisual market trend report system. All localities must establish a batch of observation points, to timely reflect the market situation, to strengthen management work initiative. (4) It is necessary to, on the basis of State secrecy protection laws and regulations, perfect the press and publications work unit secret protection system and a system to deal with those divulging secrets. (5) As soon as possible, a batch of urgently needed management laws and regulations will be formulated, to change the present situation of weaknesses laws and regulations. It is necessary to pay close attention to formulating laws and regulations concerning books and periodicals publishing, film, television dramas (films) audiovisual products, books and periodicals printing management and punishment of illegal publication and criminal activities. Before the promulgation of relevant State laws and regulations, localities may on the basis of the reality in that locality, formulate relevant local laws and regulations.

11, Establishment and perfection of cultural market management examination teams. To strengthen effective management of cultural market for books and periodicals, film and television, audiovisual products, etc., all localities may on the basis of the real needs establish cultural market management examination teams, under the leadership of the local cultural market management organ, coordination with entities such as industry and commerce, public security, taxation, etc. to examine market economic activities, correct unlawful activities, safeguard market order. Cultural market supervision examination teams shall have full-time personnel as its backbone, and may engage a certain number of part-time personnel, and implement a certification system. All localities must resolve well work funding and equipment needed for cultural market supervision and inspection teams, strengthen their training and fixed-term assessment, and incessantly raise their thought and work level. The Ministry of Culture must, together with relevant entities, pay close attention to formulating relevant regulations and work personnel rules.

12, Deepening reform, cultivating the market. It is necessary to vigorously research and explore the peculiarities and rules of socialist market development, draw lessons from foreign beneficial management experiences, move forward market management reform, cultivate healthy market development. (1) It is necessary to choose a number of culture enterprises in relatively developed large and middle cities to establish a books, film and television and audiovisual products exchange centre, to foster it into a market of a certain scale and influence, and make outstanding cultural products reflecting the main melody to occupy a leading position in these markets. Relevant entities and localities must strengthen planning and leadership, and must attach importance to construction of facilities, and also must stress establishment and perfection of market management organs and operating mechanisms. To cultural product collecting and distribution centres formed in recent years, it is necessary to strengthen leadership, to make them progressively develop into standardized and orderly cultural markets. (2) All regions and all relevant entities must according to the centrally formulated cultural economy planning, pay attention to utilize economic means to strengthen the competitive power and market influence power of outstanding cultural products. It is necessary to establish special bonuses and development funds for excellent cultural products, perfecting tax revenues, credit and price policies benefiting excellent cultural products entering the market, formulating social culture support management rules, lead the society to assist investment orientation towards healthy advancement of cultural life. (3) State publishing work units, film and television programme production work units, Xinhua bookstores, book import and export and film distribution work units, etc., must deepen internal reform, transform business organs, strengthen competitive power, better undertake the responsibility to organize the production and circulation of excellent cultural products, develop a main function in the socialist cultural market. (4) Choosing work units with relatively good conditions, to engage in pilot projects of establishment of newspaper business and publishing groups. Local pilot projects will be examined and approved b provincial first-level governments, central and all central ministries and commissions news and publications work units pilot projects will be examined and approved by the ministry or commission in charge, and be reported to the General Administration for Press and Publications for filing. Groups currently not established as interprovincial, autonomous region or municipal, may not implement a share-holding system. (5) It is necessary to vigorously develop international markets, let the excellent cultural products of our country march towards the world. At the same time, attention must be paid to attracting healthy and beneficial cultural products, and strengthening cultural exchange and coordination with abroad. Foreign-related cultural exchange and coproduced radio or television programmes of all localities, shall be examined and approved by provincial-level administrative radio and television entities according to relevant regulations, and shall be reported to the Ministry of Radio and Television for Filing. Based on the reality of our country, within our borders,  there shall be no radio stations, television stations and newspaper companies with foreign capital cooperation, and in principle, also no jointly run publishers, periodical publishers and film production work units. Nature and science periodicals in coordination with abroad, are to be examined and approved by the State Science Committee and the General Administration of Press and Publications.

13, Vigorously develop social supervision. It is necessary to fully support on societal power, widely hear the opinion of the masses, organize the masses to take part in market supervision and management. Relevant entities shall engage celebrities, expert scholars and representatives of the masses of all circles of society to organize a specialized review committee, to engage in review of books and periodicals, films, television dramas (films), audiovisual products, etc., evaluate work content, recommend excellent products and put forward opinions on dealing with harmful cultural products. Widespread reporting of unlawful activities by the masses is to be vigorously praised, and a reward system shall be established. Mass organizations such as the labour unions, the Youth League, the Women’s Federation, etc., must develop a supervision function, and vigorously lead numerous workers, youths and women to criticize and resist negative and repulsive occurrences in the cultural market. Relevant entities shall earnestly deal with problems that are reported.

14, Fully developing the function of sectoral organizations. Books and periodicals, film and television, audiovisual etc. sectoral organizations, are the assistance of governments of all levels in managing the cultural market. Sectoral organizations must make great effort in serving and guiding work well, strengthen sectoral self-regulation, vigorously assist market management entities in training business work units and legal persons’ representatives and sectoral personnel, raise their professional ethics, cultural achievements, management level and professional capacity. Through the development of activities such as business work units’ grade examination and comment, commendation of advancement, organizing exchange of experience, etc., a desirable atmosphere of observing discipline and law, exemplary business, and mutual stimulation can be shaped. Party Committees and People’s Governments of all levels must vigorously guide sectoral organizations to incessantly raise work levels, and develop an even larger function.

15, Correctly guide the masses’ cultural consumption activities. Market sale activities influence the masses’ consumption activities, the masses’ cultural pursuits and propensity to consume again influences the business orientation of the market. Incessant raising of widespread masses aesthetic sense and temperament cultural consumer goods level, is an important aspect of stimulating cultural market prosperity and healthy development. Propaganda, culture and education entities as well as all mass organizations must utilize vivid and vigorous forms to guide the masses’ cultural consumption activities. It is necessary to develop cultural market regulatory systems and civilized activity propaganda and education, to make the people consciously safeguard the cultural market environment. Mass media such as newspapers, radio, television, etc., must develop a public opinion guidance function, present art knowledge, develop art commentary, correctly guide cultural consumption hotspots, raise the masses’ cultural appreciation capacity, create a desirable social public opinion atmosphere for the prospering and healthy development of the cultural market.

16, Management work must be untiringly grasped. Strengthening cultural market management is a long-term duty. Party Committees and People’s Governments of all levels must regularly analyze market trends, and simultaneous with realistically strengthening day-to-day management, form time to time conduct one-time concentrated administration, unify the day-to-day management with the one time concentrated administration, to form a system, and continue it persistently.

All provincial, autonomous region and municipal Party Committees and People’s Governments, relevant entities such as the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Radio and Television, General Administration for Press and Publications, etc. must on the basis of this Notice formulate implementation rules, and strive to make the books and periodicals, film and television and audiovisual market to developed even more dynamically, orderly, prospering and healthily.

7 November 1994.






















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