Four high-profile American TV series have been removed from China's video streaming websites over the weekend, leaving many Chinese fans of American TV shows concerned, as no specific reasons were given.
The popular shows "The Big Bang Theory", "The Good Wife", "NCIS", and "The Practice" were no longer available ia the Internet in China, despite the series being legally broadcast in China. "The Big Bang Theory" was exclusive licensed by Sohu, one of largest China's Internet companies.
But in fact, these series will not be "banned" in China. According to the Beijing News, China's state broadcaster CCTV is now doing the translation work for the comedy “The Big Bang Theory”. CCTV’s drama channel (CCTV-8) plans to broadcast it in the near future once the translation and editing work is finished, to meet the growing demand within China for foreign-made entertainment.
CCTV-8 also broadcast “Band of Brothers” in 2003, “Everybody Loves Raymond” in 2005 and 2007, “Desperate Housewives” in 2005, “Grey’s Anatomy” in 2010, and “Downton Abbey” in 2013.
Response from Sohu’s CEO Charles Zhang
For the moment the four series cannot be accessed, and the message "Sorry, the episode is not available at the moment due to policy reasons" appears on the screen of the video website. In response, Sohu CEO Charles Zhang confirmed the removal of “The Big Bang Theory” was because of policy reasons, but he also explained that the closedown is a one-off, and said that China’s top media authority was not changing its policies on imported entertainment.
He believes that American TV series have a good future in China. “More and more people watch videos online," he explained. "And the government’s management is also responding to need. Just as in the case of the decade of development of China’s Internet, better management is required for more orderly development. The resulting supervision will not hinder China’s video industry.”
The article is edited and translated from 《“绿色原声版”《大爆炸》亮相央视？》, source: Beijing News