State Administration for Radio, Film and Television

The State Administration for Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) is the central government body that oversees these three sectors of the media. It is responsible for a wide range of projects and activities that come under the general remit of promoting development, organizing and funding research, granting licences and permissions when required, drafting laws and statutes as well as regulating and policing radio, film and television production and transmission throughout the country. SARFT has a split identity in two ways. On the one hand it is an organ of both the Party and the State, and on the other it is responsible not only for the regulation and supervision of film and broadcasting but it also has responsibilities itself for the production of propaganda.
It is directly in charge of Chinese Central Television (CCTV), China People’s Radio (CPR) and China Radio International (CRI).
Formerly the Ministry of Radio, Film and Television, SARFT has branch offices at all levels of government down to the township level which supervise the broadcasting and film industries within their local jurisdiction. The branch offices have some degree of autonomy—for instance, in the daily running of cable television networks but are always responsible to the levels above them.
With the development of cable television networks, usually under the immediate control of branch offices of SARFT, broadband and increasing attention to ‘three networks convergence’ (i.e. computers, television and telecoms), in recent years the Administration has found itself periodically in competition with the more powerful Ministry of Information Industry (MII), responsible for computer and telecoms networks (and see Internet (history and structure)). This competition is not only for control over emerging networks but significantly, with the enormous commercial value of China’s media, also over emerging markets.
See also: CCTV (Chinese Central Television); film distribution; Pearl River Economic Radio; satellite television

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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