In April a bunch of news services claimed that the Chinese government had banned shows displaying time travel.

In May came this announcement on BBC:

China has ordered TV stations across the country not to air any detective shows, spy thrillers or dramas about time-travel for the next three months.

Is their any truth behind the claim made in May that detective shows, spy thrillers or dramas about time-travel are off air for the next three months?

When the time travel claim first came out I investigated it. One of the original articles from April 8 in BoingBoing links to the SARFT statement. As I read by comments of some Chinese students the SARFT doesn't mention anything of a ban and doesn't even specifically mention time travel. So it would appear that the media is making this up based upon spurious claims.

Here is a cut down version of what is being said in SARFT statement (translation mine and paraphrased):

Recently the content has been good, however we discovered certain programs were displaying programs that were creatively inaccurate. These include stories about spirits, fairy tales, reincarnation and superstitions... In this I hope that creative departments will... make efforts to carry on the fine tradition of Chinese culture and make efforts to improve the dramas ideological and artistic quality.

That's why I'm skeptical of later reports that now apparently include crime TV and soap operas as the original reports appear to be false and I can't see any report to back up the claim of 3 months.

  • 8
    sorry, but they've also banned the dissemination of any information as to whether they've banned those shows.
    – jwenting
    Jul 5 '11 at 6:30
  • 2
    "creatively inaccurate" - what does that mean? Jul 5 '11 at 8:57

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