People watch CCTV’s Spring Festival Gala program at Beijing West Station. (Jan. 15, 2018)
The Communist Party of China (CPC) is preparing to introduce a new radio and television law that would fully regulate the broadcasting sector to cover the Internet, further tightening cyberspace as a result. Among the myriad provisions of the proposed new broadcasting law, the salary cap on Film and Television stars has been particularly hotly debated.
The formation and history of China’s broadcasting law
On March 17, China’s General Administration of Radio, Film and Television (GABT) released a draft of the “Radio and Television Law of the People’s Republic of China for Public Comments” (the “New Radio and Television Law”), which contains 10 chapters and 80 articles.
China Law says that China’s first “Regulations on Radio and Television Administration” was enacted by the State Council on August 1, 1997 and came into effect on September 1 of the same year, and is considered to be the earliest basic legal basis for managing the radio and television industry in China. The Regulations have only 6 chapters and 55 articles, and only partially regulate and adjust various behaviors in the field of radio and television.
The emergence of the Internet has greatly expanded the means of transmission and broadcasting. When China’s broadcasting law was passed 25 years ago, the main media in China were radio and television, and local media had high coverage in their areas, and the Internet was limited in size and accounted for a rather small percentage in China, but now new media, such as microblogs, video hosting platforms and so-called lifestyle streaming media, are gaining more and more attention, and these resources are not in These sources are not under the “general control” of China’s broadcasting regulators.
Promoting “Socialist Core Values”
As for the urgent need for “general monitoring,” the new Broadcasting Law begins with a clear statement: engaging in radio and television activities in the People’s Republic of China, cable, wireless, through fixed, mobile and other terminals, one-way, interactive and other forms of dissemination of video, audio and other audiovisual programs to the public and related activities, should promote the core values of socialism The new law also emphasizes the need to adhere to and strengthen the leadership of the Communist Party of China.
The new broadcasting law also emphasizes the implementation of online and offline a standard, one management, unified provisions of the TV series, which includes online dramas, online cartoons, online documentaries, online films and other filing, review procedures.
A retired liberal arts professor from Zhejiang province told Voice of America, “It’s strange that the courts are judging cases based on whether they promote socialist core values. How can the law judge a case using socialist core values? How is this case going to be decided? That is not what your authorities say is what, appear in the law in this kind of text has too much room for interpretation, the government can want to interpret how to interpret, said your work and behavior in line with the conform, not in line with the non-conformity, set this kind of rules is not a problem?”
Speaking to Voice of America, U.S.-based scholar Qin Weiping said, “The new legislation is a new move by the Chinese Communist Party in strengthening the control of public opinion and in maintaining its ruling position in the light of the new situation, with the development of Internet technology and the growing influence of new media platforms.”
Qin Weiping said that in the past two decades, the Chinese government has tightened its control over public opinion, and in order to create an enlightened image of a state based on the rule of law, both state security and public security, as well as the relevant public opinion and news regulators, have found ways to strengthen themselves through legislation, so that they have the legal basis they need to take law enforcement measures and carry out the law enforcement process, which is a major development.
The new broadcasting law proposes a “salary cap” for stars
The new broadcasting law, in two places, addresses the pay provisions for film and television stars and presenters, albeit in a few words of principle, but has attracted more attention than interest in the other administrative and technical details of the new law.
Article 31 of the new law, which collectively refers to these stars and presenters as so-called “creators,” stipulates that the remuneration standards and allocation ratios of the creators of radio and television programs shall comply with the regulations of the State Council’s competent radio and television departments and other relevant departments.
The new broadcasting law also provides for penalties: violators are ordered not to engage in relevant broadcasting business for more than one year and less than five years, and the directly responsible supervisors and other directly responsible personnel shall be fined more than 10,000 yuan and less than 100,000 yuan.
China News Network reported on the new broadcasting law draft for public comment, emphasizing the strengthening of program regulation and practitioner management. Specify the nine types of content prohibited in broadcast television programs. Provisions engaged in broadcasting and television program announcing, hosting activities of personnel, should obtain a certificate of practice. The new law also involves “restricting the broadcast of the works of artists with poor track record,” “set up a special area for minors,” as well as clarifying the “remuneration standards” of the creators of the program and ” The new law also covers “restricting the broadcast of works of artists with bad reputation” and “setting up a special area for minors”, as well as specifying that the “remuneration standard” and “allocation ratio” of the creators of the program should be in line with the regulations.
The intriguing “high salary of stars”
For a long Time, mainland China’s public opinion on the salaries of film and television stars and hosts, seems to have been very interesting, people also have a very complex mentality, which may also be the reason for the new broadcasting law to regulate by law. Before that, the General Administration of Radio, Film and Television has also had regulations in this area, but the effect may not be obvious, the basin form. The Malaysian Star said that the coronavirus (Chinese communist virus) crisis has cut Chinese actors’ salaries by up to 50%.
The article “2020 star’s film pay insider exposure” on March 24 by the online platform “Hot Ready Consulting” gives a glimpse of the latest film pay of some famous actors and actresses in mainland China (including Hong Kong and Macau), among whom the highest film pay: 80 million ( (RMB, the same below), the low 30 million, they generally do not receive TV movie pay, receive is also to accept a “very small amount” of such pay, there is a price is to receive 100 million yuan TV pay.
Comprehensive network opinion, the CCTV host’s salary in the end is how much? There are many different opinions, and it seems that it has never been officially announced, but can not stop the public opinion of many speculations, said the highest salary in 2012 there are 280,000, which is not a secret, generally are not ridiculously high, if there are high-level positions, all kinds of allowances will be relatively high.
Opposing views on the “high salary cap”
Mr. Lin, a resident of Beijing, worked in the literary arts and talked about his views on celebrity pay legislation: “Personally, I think this thing is a little too broad. The star’s salary, to put it bluntly, the market is willing to give so much money, worth so much, it should be decided by the market. The problem is that the income must first be legal and taxed, so tax evasion is definitely not an option, as some artists have been uncovered in tax evasion incidents. This is definitely not okay, the state should legislate from the perspective of tax evasion and should be heavily punished.”
The source said that actors and hosts rely on their professional abilities, and those who can reach high income levels among them are extremely individual: “The high salary of this group of people who use their occupation and professional expertise as a source of income is because the market recognizes that the audience accepts it, so they take the money, which in itself should not be a problem in a normal country. Moreover, many stars may not be able to stay red, many of them have a limited artistic Life and cannot sell forever.”
China News Network in the “star salary limit to be into the law means what” report quoted Beijing Normal University School of Journalism and Communication Professor Xu Jinghong said, for the star salary this chronic problem, there have been two widely divergent views: one that this is an unreasonable phenomenon, because their total investment in film and television works in the total proportion is too high, and the rate of increase The other view is that high salaries are determined by the laws of the market and should not be restricted. The two different views reflect the boundary between the government and the market, that is, where the government’s administrative power should be?
The retired Zhejiang arts professor said that the new broadcasting law touches on the issue of high salaries in the film and television industry is very realistic, compared to the more complex issue of wealth distribution in Chinese society: “You say that artists get more money, then Ma Yun gets more? The artists take the money with those listed companies, state-owned enterprises bosses have no way to compare. They are listed in an instant is a billionaire, actors, hosts people in front of the owners of listed companies is childish.”
He said, Ma Yun’s money is where it comes from? Where do those state-owned enterprise owners get their high salaries? Aren’t many of them the gatekeepers of the Party’s property, the lucky Chinese who were allowed to get rich first after the reform and opening up? Where is the regulation of their wealth?