TV China

Control and Expansion

Authored by: Ying Zhu

The Routledge Companion to Global Television

Print publication date:  November  2019
Online publication date:  October  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138724341
eBook ISBN: 9781315192468
Adobe ISBN:


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The chapter traces the evolution of Chinese television since 1958 from a state propaganda organ to a profit-generating media juggernaut, with China Central Television (CCTV) as the only network TV responding to both market principles and party directives. Commercialization and marketization played a major role in the rapid development of the Chinese television industry. In recent years China’s TV industry has witnessed the rise of private media companies and the rapid expansion of digital media and the proliferation of over the top (OTT) content. The chapter further provides an overview of China’s overall TV structures and teases out the relationship between CCTV and local stations. The most popular genre on Chinese TV is serial drama, which developed from predominantly single-episode anthology dramas in the 1980s to chiefly multi-episode serial dramas. Talk shows and reality TV became fashionable since the late 1990s.

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