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China's International Satellite Communications Network: PART II

2009-01-04


China also had facsimile, low-speed data-transmission, and computer-controlled telecommunications services besides traditional telegraph and telephone services. These included on-line information retrieval terminals in Beijing, Changsha, and Baotou that enabled international telecommunications networks to retrieve news and scientific, technical, economic, and cultural information from international sources.

Also, high-speed newspaper-page-facsimile equipment and Chinese character- code translation equipment were used on a large scale. Sixty-four-channel program-controlled automatic message retransmission equipment and low- or medium-speed data transmission and exchange equipment also received extensive use. International telex service was available along coastal cities and in special economic zones.

China's national radio network came under the administration of Central People's Broadcasting Station. Programming, meanwhile, was conducted at the provincial-level units. The station produced general news and cultural and educational programs. It also provided programs catering to Taiwan and overseas Chinese listeners. Radio Beijing broadcasts internationally in thirty-eight foreign languages, Putonghua (Mandarin) and various Chinese dialects which includes Amoy, Cantonese, and Hakka. It also has English-language news programs for expatriates living in Beijing. Medium-wave, shortwave, and FM stations reached 80 percent of the country — over 160 radio stations and 500 relay and transmission stations — with some 240 radio programs.

The nationwide network of wire lines and loudspeakers transmitted radio programs in both urban and rural communities. Over a count of 2,600 wired broadcasting stations were in place in 1984, expanding radio coverage to rural areas, previously unserved by regular broadcasting stations.

In 1987, the state network, China Central Television (CCTV), managed China's television programs. In 1985, 15 million new television sets were purchased, of which approximately 4 million were colored television. Demand outnumbered local production, reports said. Because it was common previously for Chinese viewers to gather in large groups to watch publicly owned sets, authorities estimated that two-thirds of the nation had access to television. In 1987 there were about 70 million television sets, estimated to be an average of 29 sets per 100 families. CCTV maintained four channels that provided programs to over ninety television stations throughout the country. In 1985, construction began on a major CCTV studio in Beijing. CCTV produced its own programs, majority of which were educational, in partnership with the Television University in Beijing which produced three educational programs weekly. Language lessons in English was the most popular program, with an estimated 5 to 6 million viewers. Daily news, entertainment, teleplays, and special programs include the network’s other shows. Foreign programs included films and cartoons. Observations show that Chinese viewing preferences were international news, sports, and drama.

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