Foreign TV shows wiped from popular video website - China’s latest society and culture news - SupChina

Foreign TV shows wiped from popular video website – China’s latest society and culture news

On July 13, users of Bilibili, one of the most popular video-streaming websites among Chinese millennials, woke up to the dismal news that many TV shows and movies — most of them produced abroad — had been taken offline from the website overnight, according to Sixth Tone.

The sudden removal sparked a wave of fury and anguish among Chinese internet users, but no official explanation has yet been offered. When reached by Sixth Tone, a Bilibili public relations employee declined to comment. Some users are speculating that the removal might relate to copyright issues, while others blame censorship.

Different from other video-streaming platforms such as Tudou and Youku, which are similar to Youtube, Bilibili offers foreign TV shows and movies and tries to limit advertising. The company has also helped foster a community of translators who subtitled overseas shows.

Naturally, the slightly freewheeling nature of this attracted the attention of the regulators: On July 5, Bilibili announced that — to comply with orders from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television (SAPPRFT) — users would have to use their real names to register for an account.

Just a week later, the TV shows and films disappeared.

Internet users reacted to the news with tremendous anger. On social media platform Weibo, one user made a post (in Chinese) of several screenshots of the new drama section, which reveals that the only content now available is old China-produced programs. One of the most upvoted comment reads: “The day we are completely cut off from the outside world will come sooner or later.”

Jiayun Feng

Jiayun was born in Shanghai, where she spent her first 20 years and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Fudan University. Interested in writing for a global audience, she attended the NYU Graduate School of Journalism for its Global & Joint Program Studies, which allowed her to pursue a journalism career along with her interest in international relations. She has previously interned for Sixth Tone and Shanghai Daily.