China has put aside landmark rules issued in 2004 allowing foreign investors to take minority stakes in television and film production companies, Zhu Hong of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (Sarft) told the Financial Times. Instead, international media companies should work through individual projects with local partners. The decision highlights Beijing's reluctance to give up influence over the media sector. While Sarft has previously refrained from ruling out new joint ventures, it has limited most foreign companies to just one such venture since last year and banned any considered "unfriendly" to China. Since then, Communist party officials have ordered tighter curbs on foreign involvement in the media to protect "national cultural security". Zhu insisted China was continuing to open the film and television sector, highlighting the large number of films, dramas and cartoons imported by local broadcasters each year.
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