As part of a government restructuring program initiated at the National People’s Congress in March, the General Administration of Press and Publications was merged with the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, creating the awkwardly named “General Administration of Press, Publications, Radio, Film and Television.” The new body oversees all media governance. The State Council recently released the portfolio of the new organization, which has been translated in full by Rogier Creemers at China Copyright and Media. In his accompanying blog post (which also includes useful links for further reading), he describes the most significant changes:
First, and foremost, fifteen approval procedures are cancelled. Chinese media enterprises will no longer need ministerial approval to sell domestic publications at exhibitions abroad, to set up or merge chain retail bookstores, import compact disk production equipment, undergo military budgeting procedures when receiving assistance from troops in filmmaking, amongst others. Also, the approval requirement for film scripts is abolished, and replaced with a system of scenario outline publication. For foreign enterprises, the most important changes seem to be that approval is no longer required to import equipment used for Sino-foreign film co-productions, as well as for contracting post-production and processing work of foreign films.
Second, a number of tasks have been moved away from the new ministry. In the area of publication, a number of inspection tasks are moved to the respective sector associations. A number of other approval and inspection duties, including licensing for the establishment of CD reproduction facilities, permission for the change of TV station logos and for the establishment of satellite reception facilities. For foreign enterprises, it is noteworthy here that foreign copyright registration services are shifted to the China Copyright Protection Centre. Also, the approval of foreign personnel participating in the production of domestic Chinese television dramas and for bilateral film screening exchange agreements are transferred to the provincial level.
Third, a number of tasks are strengthened, indicating future policy priorities. Top priority is given to the provision of public service media. Furthermore, the GAPPRFT must support development of the media industry, further develop structural reform, enhance the development of digital, online and mobile media production and dissemination, strengthen copyright protection, increase the export of Chinese media products and develop innovative management ideas and techniques.