SARFT-Approved Sat TV for Hotels Serving Foreigners

The following example of censorship instructions, issued to the media and/or Internet companies by various central (and sometimes local) government authorities, has been leaked and distributed online. Chinese journalists and bloggers often refer to those instructions as “Directives from the Ministry of Truth.” CDT has collected the selections we translate here from a variety of sources and has checked them against official Chinese media reports to confirm their implementation.

Yesterday, Weibo user @EddeLovesFantasy (@Edde爱空想) posted a text image of this directive (available from Weibo and CDT Chinese) apparently issued by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) to “hotels serving foreigners” (涉外宾馆), which must be formally approved for this designation by the National Tourism Administration:

Notice Concerning International Satellite Television Channels Which Hotels Serving Foreigners and Similar Work Units May Apply to Receive

On February 18, SARFT issued this Notice Concerning International Satellite Television Channels Which Hotels Serving Foreigners and Similar Work Units May Apply to Receive (SARFT Order No. 27) to every province, autonomous region and direct-controlled municipality. The notice concerning international satellite television channels which hotels serving foreigners rated three stars and above and similar work units may apply to provide during 2012 is as follows:

The following 33 international satellite television channels, approved in 2008, remain available to hotels serving foreigners rated three stars and above and similar work units to apply to provide:

(1) CNN
(2) HBO
(3) Cinemax Asia
(4) CNBC Asia Pacific
(5) MTV Mandarin
(6) National Geographic Channel Asia
(7) Star Movies International
(8) Channel V
(9) AXN
(10) Discovery Asia
(11) Hallmark
(12) BBC World
(13) NHK World Premium
(14) Phoenix Movies Channel
(15) Phoenix Television
(16) TVB8
(17) TVB Xing He
(18) NOW TV
(19) Australia Satellite Chinese (澳洲卫视中文台)
(20) Phoenix Infonews Channel
(21) Bloomberg
(22) Xing Kong Wei Shi
(23) Euro Sports News
(24) CETV
(25) Horizon Channel
(26) Sun TV
(27) Celestial Movies
(28) Channel NewsAsia
(29) TV5 Monde
(30) Cuba Vision International
(31) KBS WORLD
(32) ESPN
(33) Star Sports

Approval of the channels listed above remains in effect from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012. During this period, the 33 above-mentioned international satellite television channels will be transmitted via encoded signals (Asia-Pacific Satellite 6, 134 degrees east longitude). China International Television Corporation (CITVC) is the sole agent concerned with transmission issues and provides unified, fixed-orientation access to the SARFT international satellite television channel decoder. All domestic hotels serving foreigners rated three stars and above and similar work units approved through examination or annual inspection for an international satellite television program license by the film and television broadcast administration bureau of its respective province, autonomous region or direct-controlled municipality are limited to carrying to above-mentioned 33 items, and the signal source they receive is limited to the SARFT international satellite television channel.

Read more about SARFT and media censorship in China from CDT.