China - Opportunities for International Media Businesses: Giving Historical Context, Media Import and Export


"The presence of television is influencing the future of China in ways that no other technology or human agency can" (J. Lull). Given its' importance, both culturally and politically, the television industry is one of the most interesting industries in China. However, a quick review of regulations and market realities showed that there are virtually no foreign channels in the country and probably won"t be for a while; therefore the focus of this report is foreign television content entering China - and, to a slightly lesser degree, Chinese content in global markets. All video genres are discussed here, with news and current affairs programming being a special case. The first part of this report is a short introduction that includes the history of political influence and a review of existing regulations. After this overview, the industry and major players (namely CCTV, Xinhua, News Corp, Phoenix, Disney, Discovery, Viacom) are introduced and analyzed. Here, the issue of cultural imperialism, or Western media influence, is elaborated on. Then, the paper discusses the opportunities for international firms in the Chinese media market and the tension between Government control and market liberalisation. A compelling answer to the question of who will dominate the domestic market in ten years is developed. Finally, the impact of Chinese content on international markets will be assessed within the same timeframe. This is particularly interesting as media is not a traditional manufacturing industry and poses different challenges i.e. creative skills.

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