LONDON: China aims to switch-off its analogue TV signal by 2015, as part of a broader plan to use digital technology to drive the expansion of its communications sector, says Huang Yong, deputy editor-in-chief of the country's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television.

Speaking at a conference in London, Huang said the Chinese media sector is an industry with an annual value of ¥112.9bn ($16.4bn; €12.8bn; £10.1bn) and that the government has spent ¥25bn in the last decade to give over 100m people television access.

Digital television now reaches around 40 million households, but digital radio is still in an "experimental phase", and is available only in major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.

Huang said: "The radio and television industry in China is at a crucial stage of transformation; one aspect is technological transformation, from analogue to digital.

“If we see year 2000 as the starting point this transformation will need roughly twenty years to develop. That is to say: it will be complete by 2020.”

While television production is increasingly moving from analogue to digital, Huang also argued that the communications network needs to be improved in many rural areas.

A degree of regulatory reform and an increased focus on balancing public service requirements with the needs of market are also required, he added.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff