The Chinese government is set to announce a ban on foreign animations including The Simpsons being shown during primetime TV viewing hours, in a bid to resuscitate the Asian country's struggling cartoon industry.

Leading Chinese politicians are reportedly unhappy that foreign cartoons are so popular with youngsters, despite a concerted effort to improve homegrown animation studios.

The proposed ban, which has yet to be formally announced, will banish Homer and his family, Mickey Mouse and Pokemon between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. (local time), and it has already come underfire from the media.

An article in the Southern Metropolis News yesterday read: "This is a worrying, shortsighted policy and will not solve the fundamental problems in China's cartoon industry. The viewing masses, whether adults or children, will have no choice but to passively support Chinese products."