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Vice Minister of GAPP wants to have his cake and eat it

Sexy Super Girl culture

Xinhua published an article on their English website about China's cultural industries. Here is an excerpt:

Cultural industries become driving force of economy

The cultural industries have become a fresh driving force of China's economic growth, a senior Chinese culture official said in Beijing on Saturday.

The gross output value of Chinese cultural industries - including the press, movie, broadcast, journalism, advertising, tourism, show business, Internet communication and relevant services - hit 1.2 trillion yuan (about 150 billion US dollars) in 2004, according to Liu Binjie, vice minister of the General Administration of Press and Publication [GAPP]...

...Despite their surging development, however, the Chinese cultural industries still have a gap from their counterparts of developed countries.

Yes, there is a gap, and the cause of the gap is GAPP, the government body that controls most media in China, making sure that politics are always a factor in any kind of media or entertainment related enterprise.

As long as GAPP and other government bodies continue to control China's cultural industries with a heavy hand, their development will be held back. Cultural industries are not safe places to invest in China.

Nonetheless, some cultural industry investments do succeed: Hunan TV's Super Girls being the best example from 2005. Which gives us an excuse to reproduce the photo above of Super Girl contestent Ye Yiqian, copied from state-owned lads mag Xinhua's website.

But Super Girls is not perhaps what vice president of Peking University Zhang Guoyou had in mind when he said the following, quoted in the Xinhua article:

The abundant, unique and valuable Chinese cultural resources passed down in the thousands of years should be exploited with protection, and thus be enjoyed by the people around the world.

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