The total fees for actors of a TV drama cannot exceed 40 percent of the total production cost, and the pay for the main actors of TV and Internet dramas cannot exceed 70 percent of shows' total payroll, according to new guidelines issued on Friday.
The guidelines released by five industry associations are aimed at guiding entertainment companies to reasonably manage TV dramas and optimize the distribution of fees for a positive cycle of inputs and outputs in the industry.
China's rapidly-developing film and TV industry has produced many outstanding works but has also given unreasonably high fees to some actors which has led to an imbalance in the distribution of income and affected the overall quality of TV series, according to the guidelines published on the website of the China Netcasting Service Association on Friday.
The guidelines said that if total fees for actors of a TV drama exceed the limit, the company has to inform the related association and explain the reasons.
The guidelines take effect on Friday.
Lu Di, a professor at Peking University's School of Journalism and Communication, told the Global Times that he supports the guidelines because the "absurdly" high pay for some actors has greatly affected the sound development of the TV industry.
"Aside from setting a cap on the main actors' fees, the authorities and companies should also increase the fees for screenplay writers. Only those who write good stories for dramas could boost the sound development of China's TV and film industry," Lu said.
A ranking of Chinese stars based on their income was released by news sites Jiemian.com and Toutiao.com in May.
Fan Bingbing topped the list in 2016 with an annual income of 244 million yuan ($35.42 million).