The state-owned media system in China has evolved considerably since 1994 when the first independent TV production company was officially registered. Today, there are thousands of independent TV production companies looking for market opportunities in China. Independent production companies have facilitated the circulation of program trade and investment, and in the process have encouraged innovation and professionalization. This article focuses on the evolution of independents and the changing face of the television market. It discusses the ecology of independent television companies in China and how government regulations are impacting on the TV production market. It argues that independent TV is providing a new face for China's TV market, one often suspected of being imitative, propagandistic and lacking colour.