Published On: Mon, Apr 28th, 2014

‘NCIS’ ‘The Big Bang Theory’ ‘The Good Wife’ top list of shows banned in China

NCIS, The Big Bang Theory, The Good Wife and The Practice have disappeared from sites like Sohu TV, iQiyi and Youku, indicating they are the casualties of China’s censorship of American TV.

Sheldon Leonard and Raj Big Bang Theory photoThese four U.S. TV series have been ripped down from from China’s major streaming sites as of Saturday. On the websites. The original links display the message “This video can’t be viewed due to policy reasons.”

A new regulation issued last month by China’s state-media watchdog to strengthen the censorship of both foreign and domestic entertainment has worried many online watchers.

Under the new rules, every U.S. or U.K.-produced TV series may not be aired online until being vetted, with violating websites risking severe punishment, including the revocation of its license.

The removal of The Big Bang Theory, which enjoys a huge Chinese fan base has prompted an immediate backlash on China’s social media. The topic has ranked on the Top 10 list on Sina Weibo (China’s version of Twitter) since Sunday, generating more than 300,000 comments so far.

“The reason that The Big Bang Theory was banned is because it’s just too hot in China,” said Lou Hongyu, a Weibo account user in Shanghai.

“Why were these four TV shows banned? The authorities may be making an example of a few, but who are they going to frighten?” asked The Oriental Daily in another Weibo post, quoting a seemingly sarcastic line from the character Sheldon in the Big Bang Theory: “I like China. … See, they know how to keep people in line.”

Foreign films and television shows are extremely popular among Chinese online audiences, who find it easier to get around the country’s strict censorship by watching them on streaming video websites. Topping the most-watched lists on these sites include the U.S. zombie drama The Walking Dead, which has generated more than 700 million views on Youku.com for its four seasons.



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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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