Taiwan 🇹🇼, officially known as Republic of China (ROC) is an Asian country which mostly practices Buddhism and Confucianism. Censorship was pervasive during the martial law period between 1945 and 1987. The Kuomintang retreated to the island of Taiwan in 1949 after their defeat against the CCP (who since then rule the mainland) in the Chinese Civil War.

General censorship[]

After World War II and the Chinese Civil War, during the one-party rule of the Kuomintang, media in Taiwan were strictly managed by the Taiwan Garrison Command and regulated by the Publication Control Act. Any media that the censors thought as promoting left-wing ideology, reflecting Communist propaganda, corroding popular sentiments or endangering the physical and mental health of youth, etc. were also banned in the country. Also, any references made to the former Taiwanese leader Chiang Kai-shek in an unflattering manner were a big deal over there back then. Ironically, use of the Taiwanese language (including in media) was also outlawed there.

Taiwan had a ban on most cultural products from Japan for a few decades, which was lifted a few years earlier than in South Korea after Taiwan's transition from one-party Kuomintang military rule to multi-party democracy in 1987.

The authority for censorship in Taiwan since 2006 is the National Communications Commission (NCC). On 26 June 2006 news reports said that a review by the Council of Grand Justices of the ROC found that part of the National Communications Commission Organization Act (e.g. Article 4) is unconstitutional, and that after 31 December 2008 the law provision is invalid.

Book censorship[]

  • Back when the ban on Japanese cultural products was in force, bootlegs of Japanese manga were prominent in the country until the 1990s.
  • Inside Asia - the second volume of this book written by John Gunther was prohibited and censored by the Chinese government in 1941, in midst of the Second Sino-Japanese War.
  • 96 books written by intellectual, nationalist and political activist Li Ao were banned from sale.
  • Bo Yang was jailed for eight years for his translation of Popeye, which could be interpreted as a criticism of the leader Chiang Kai-shek.
  • The Confession of a Defector (叛徒的告白) - this book written by Lee Shiao-fend (which actually was a collection of articles he already published in newspapers) was banned by the authorities for "sabotaging the credibility of the government", "instigating dissent between the government and the people", "violating the basic national policy", "confusing public opinion" and "damaging popular sentiments".

Film censorship[]

  • Boat People - this Hong Kong film was banned in 1982 for being filmed on Hainan, an island in China.
  • Love - this film was banned as Taiwan's Ministry of Culture refused to issue the Restricted rating in December 2015, citing the article 9 of the 2015 regulations and the article 235 of the Criminal Code. After the distributor cut 170 seconds of closeups on physical intimacy, including unsimulated sexual intercourse, fingering, ejaculation, fellatio and etc, the film was released in April 2016.

Television censorship[]

The use of overt and covert censorship in relation to mainland China and the People's Republic of China is an active area of controversy. For example, satellite channels perceived to adopt a pro-PRC or pro-unification editorial stance, such as Phoenix TV, were refused landing rights in Taiwan by the DPP-controlled government. Similarly, correspondent offices representing the PRC government-controlled Xinhua News Agency and the People's Daily were closed by the DPP-controlled government. These policies were reversed after the election of the Kuomintang in 2008.

  • Family Guy - this show was banned in Taiwan most likely due to its mature content and the the conception according to which animation is thought as shows aimed to children having a strong presence. Taiwan had since lifted the ban and is currently showing on FOX Taiwan with dubs and cuts.
  • Doraemon (1979) - CTV originally planned to air the this anime in Taiwan in 1990, but the plan was scrapped due to the then-present ban on Japanese culture products.

Internet censorship[]

According to a survey conducted by Taiwan's Institute for Information Industry, an NGO, 81.8% of households had access to the Internet at the end of 2011.

The constitution provides for freedom of speech and press, and the authorities generally respect these rights in practice. An independent press, an effective judiciary, and a functioning democratic political system combine to protect freedom of speech and press. There are no official restrictions on access to the Internet or credible reports that the authorities monitor e-mail or Internet chat rooms without judicial oversight.

The websites of PRC institutions such as the Chinese Communist Party, People's Daily and China Central Television can be freely accessed from Taiwan.