Chinese Media Digest – Feb. 3 Published: 2013-2-3 18:08:06

Keywords: SARFT calls for frugal Spring Festival Galas; Sinopec blames smog blight on low oil standards

SARFT calls for frugal Spring Festival Galas

TV stations across China are feeling more pressure than usual this holiday season after SARFT (State Administration of Radio Film and Television) urged for tighter budgets for Spring Festival Gala programming on January 31.

The announcement is meant to follow eight budgetary regulations issued by the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on December 4, 2012.

Chinese Business View said the announcement will win the public's approval and support, but we need more guidance than mere lip service. "Besides cutting costs, the total number of Spring Festival Galas should also be decreased," read the article, adding that "this comes too late because the galas have already been fixed."

An opinion article on Shanghai news portal echoed in saying that the announcement should have been made three months ago rather than only 10 days before the Spring Festival.

"SARFT should also supervise the implementation of the announcement by conducting investigations and establishing a platform for people to report extravagant spending on programs," read the article.

"The cost of Spring Festival Galas should be driven by the market demand rather than SARFT," wrote the Southern Metropolis Daily.

"Administrative intervention of Spring Festival Galas is completely unnecessary, because local TV stations will design their programs to fit the tastes of their audiences," read the article, adding that "after all, the purpose of local TV stations putting on Spring Festival Galas is to make a profit."

@栗子味的小包子: Although the announcement seems to comply with the new regulations of the central government, it may also be a way to protect CCTV from competing local TV stations.

@闲鸥草际: SARFT is going overboard and should not regulate the market. Extravagant galas by TV stations are driven by advertising and the government doesn't need to bother with them.

@新闻与观察: The excessive commercial packaging done on these TV programs is a tremendous waste of resources.

@俏就去争春: If the money saved could be spent on ordinary people, I will support the announcement.

Sinopec blames smog blight on low oil standards

China petroleum giant Sinopec acknowledged its role in the intense smog covering China this winter, blaming the nation's low standards for oil quality during a recent radio interview.

According to Sinopec chairman Fu Chengyu during a CRI interview on January 31, while oil firms surely contributed to the heavy smog that blanketed China for the month of January, the culprit is China's regional oil standards.

Fu further explained most regions in China adopt a "national 3 standard", which allows for sulfur content in refined oil products below 150 ppm (parts per million). Beijing is the only city which upholds the European Union standard of 10 ppm or "national 5 standard", according to the Xinhua News Agency.

National oil standards, however, are set by the Oil Products and Lubricant Standardization Technology Committee, a government body which also includes members from China's three largest petro-groups, including Sinopec, PetroChina and China National Offshore Oil Corporation, according to the committee's official website.

While Chinese media noted Sinopec's token moment of candor, most outlets called for immediate solutions and effective government intervention.

"It's a sign of progress for Sinopec to respond immediately, but low national standards are no excuse for low oil quality," commented the Beijing Times.

"The public interest is far more important than the profits of one company, so Sinopec should take the initiative in improving oil quality, which will have a direct impact with relatively low cost," it suggested.

The Guangzhou Daily said today's businesses, especially State-owned enterprises, are obligated to protect the environment.

"Monopolies and profiteering have rendered China's oil giants unmotivated to increase product quality, so the government must intervene," read the article.

"The government should set higher oil standards and introduce emission laws," it suggested.

The Guangdong-based Yangcheng Evening News opined, "what should concern the public is that with Sinopec's admission, correcting the problem will be costly, an expense that will eventually trickle down to the consumer."

Posted in: Chinese Media Digest

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