China bans violent or vulgar cartoons and anime as its crackdown on the entertainment industry continues

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GREG BAKER/Staff/Getty Images
  • China banned violent and vulgar children's TV shows and a popular anime show was already censored.
  • The regulatory agency announced cartoons should promote "truth, good, and beauty."
  • China has tried to enforce morality in a broader crackdown on the entertainment industry.
  • See more stories on Business Insider SA's home page.

In the latest sign of China's crackdown on the country's entertainment industry, authorities announced a ban on violent, vulgar, and bloody children's TV shows on the weekend and sparked an uproar among social media users when a popular anime show was censored from streaming services.

The regulations apply to network shows and those hosted on streaming networks. After the ban was announced, the popular Japanese anime series "Ultraman Tiga" was censored from Chinese streaming services, much to the anger of Chinese fans.

Though many posts about the show's ban have now been deleted, the hashtag about the show's removal was viewed 84 million times, with people complaining about losing a staple of their childhood, according to CNN. The show aired from 1996 to 1997, and includes five spin-off movies.

"The content of broadcasts should be healthy and progressive and should promote truth, good, and beauty in cartoons," a statement from the National Radio and Television Administration said. The regulatory body also said that children were the primary audience for cartoons and that streaming services should set up children's channels with child-appropriate content with shows that promote "healthy development" among young people.

The Chinese government has implemented a far-reaching crackdown on the entertainment industry, including prohibiting children from playing video games for more than three hours a week, discouraging broadcasters from casting "effeminate men" on TV shows, and suspending K-pop fan accounts on social media.

The government also erased an enormously popular actress from Chinese social media and deleted her movies from streaming services without explaining why.

The heightened incursions into the entertainment industry are mostly focused on promoting a specific idea of morality within film and TV.

This isn't the first time that a Chinese authority has tried to discourage the viewing of certain children's TV shows due to violence. In April, the Jiangsu Consumer Council announced that 21 children's cartoons, including "Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures" and "My Little Pony," weren't appropriate for kids.

The state-run newspaper the Global Times hinted that half of the cartoons referenced in the investigation had "violent criminal elements to varying degrees," including beatings, arson, and intimidation.

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