Don’t touch the home button. There’s nothing wrong with the picture — your favorite program has been merely removed.
That’s more or less how the message went out from China’s censors to millions of online viewers of four popular American television dramas over the weekend.
On Saturday, fans of the hit series The Big Bang Theory, The Good Wife, The Practice and NCIS were shocked to find the shows were no longer available on Chinese websites and promptly took to social media to vent their frustrations, Apple Daily reported Monday.
By Sunday, Sina Weibo, the country’s Twitter-like service, had lit up with more than 200,000 posts and 7,528 discussions on the subject, according to Nanfang Metropolis News.
Meanwhile, Chinese authorities had little to say about the matter, except that the decision was taken for “policy reasons”, raising the prospect of tougher government control over videos posted online.
Fair enough, but why spare House Of Cards?
Apparently, it is the favorite of Wang Qishan, chief of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the country’s top graft watchdog, Apple Daily said, citing unnamed sources.
It quoted analysts as saying the move is intended to counter western influence on Chinese culture. The government already limits western movie imports and TV programs but left video streaming of these shows largely untouched until now.
President Xi Jinping, who is waging an unrelenting war on corruption and pornography, heads the Internet Security and Informatization Leading Group.
US programs are not being singled out. British shows and all manner of western broadcasts are covered by the ban. In future, all such content will be screened by government monitors before they can be shown in any medium, the report said.
– Contact HKEJ at [email protected]