Crackdown on satellite dishes in Shanghai

I hardly ever watch TV, I find it a waste of time and prefer to spend that time doing more productive things. One reason for this is that Chinese TV sucks, it’s low quality mass entertainment that does not really fit what I would like to watch. The few times a year that I do watch TV I normally turn on our illegal satellite receiver, to watch one of the 50+ satellite channels (mainly Philippine, Japanese or Hong Kong stations, but also Deutsche Welle, BBC, CNN and some documentary channels). But there is a chance that might be over soon.

In China only high-end hotels and residences with more than 80% foreigners are allowed to receive satellite TV. However, just in Shanghai there are already 300,000 satellite dishes, almost all of them illegal. Today the Shanghai Daily mentions that there is a crackdown going on to get rid of all these dishes. The goal seems to be that by the time the Olympics start people can only rely on good old CCTV to watch sports. According to the article, the authorities sent more than 11,000 property management companies a notice to take down satellite dishes.

Not sure if this is just rhetoric or if the government is really cracking down on illegal TV. In my compound I did not see a notice yet, even though almost every apartment has its own satellite dish. Also the wording in the newspaper gives me the idea that this may not be too serious: According to a spokes person people have 3 months to dismantle their receivers, but he added “Dismantlement is not our final target. The administration still hopes satellite owners realize their illegal action and remove them voluntarily.” Sure, so people can only watch all Chinese channels? Welcome to the real world.

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  1. It has been some time since this post was published. Since the satellite dish has been long on my wish-list, i wonder, if in the meantime there has been any REAL change to previous “blind eye” policy? Has it started being really enforced as threatened, or were the propaganda drums again put in peace into closets after the show?

  2. Nothing has changed at all, the policy was not enforced and I still get almost daily spam from people selling satellite dishes. I think it’s therefore quite safe to buy one.