February 21 – Guangdong’s provincial office in charge of product pricing announced in a new statute on price supervision that the media have a “right to carry out press supervision” on the issue of fair pricing. The statute, “Guangdong Province Statute on Price Supervision (Draft Soliciting Comment)”, covers a wide range of goods and services and defines the legal responsibility of various points in the supply chain regarding fair pricing. It outlines maximum penalties of 50,000 yuan (US$6,500) for parties failing to provide information on pricing or cooperate with oversight procedures. The draft was made available on the Web starting February 14, and will seek public comment through April 1.
February 23 — Television shows about art collection, after the manner of Antique Roadshow in the U.S. and U.K., have become all the rage in China since 2006. But after a deluge of such shows during the recent Spring Festival, some experts attacked them as the latest example of media commercialization gone bad, according to the Beijing Evening News. As the market for arts and antiques takes off in China, more and more regional television stations are following the lead of such shows as China Central Television’s Sai Bao Da Hui, which reportedly drew an audience of more than 10 million last year. According to a report in Beijing Evening News, a spinoff of the official Beijing Daily, such programs were a popular “must see” over the recent holiday in China. But a number of collection experts, cited in the Beijing Evening News report only by their professions, said many of these programs were becoming too sensational, seeking out or manufacturing extreme scenes to draw larger audiences.