satellite dishes

satellite dishes
Satellite dishes have become a commonplace feature of China’s urban landscapes. Dishes, often 2–3 metres in diameter, are scattered over the roofs of China’s large buildings serving variously telecommunications and television reception purposes. Direct-to-home satellite television reception is not allowed in China, and satellite television dishes can only be installed with special permits. None-theless, legal loopholes and difficulties over control and implementation of regulations saw millions of illegal devices erected in the early 1990s.
In 1990 a government regulation permitted educational, scientific, financial and media organizations, as well as hotels for foreign guests, to install satellite dishes under licence for business purposes. Importantly, individual households were not specifically excluded in the regulations, and the lure of quick, easy profits saw many businesses exploit the loophole and offer satellite dish installation services.
The number of illegal satellite dishes is inevitably hard to measure with accuracy, but estimates in the mid 1990s put their number at around 30 million. In the late 1990s, regulations have specifically banned individual dishes, but the difficulties of implementation remain.
Chan, J.M. (1994). ‘Media Internationalization in China: Processes and Tensions’. Journal of Communication 44.3: 70–88.
Zhao, Y. (1998). Media, Market, and Democracy in China: Between the Party Line and the Bottom Line. Chicago: University of Illinois.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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