'The Big Bang Theory,' 'The Good Wife' among U.S. shows banned online in China

By Daniel S Levine,

The Chinese government has been cracking down on the online video content available to citizens and the latest victim are four American shows that have gained popularity there due to their availability online. But, The Big Bang Theory and three other shows are now unavailable on China’s most popular streaming sites.

The three others hows that have disappeared are The Good Wife, NCIS and The Practice. According to The Wall Street Journal, all four had gained a following in China because companies like Sohu, Yoku Tudou and Tencent Holdings had episodes available for free with advertising.

China has been making an effort to control what is being posted online and these four shows became the first targets. While China has strict censorship for television and films, limiting foreign imports, online videos have less regulation. However, the real question is why these four were targeted when shows like House of Cards and Breaking Bad are still available, notes Time.

Big Bang was likely targeted due to its immense popularity and taking it down would make a major statement. The show, like in the U.S., has become immensely popular. It was made available on Sohu in 2009 and drew 1.3 billion views since then.

A source for the WSJ said that one video service was talking with China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television about what it will be allowed to post. Regulation has been in the works since 2009, but it had been impossible for the government to set anything in stone because of the sheer volume of content showing up on the web.

Time notes that Chinese media has reported that CCTV will will broadcast a version of Big Bang following widespread complaints from fans. It’s not clear how censored that version of the hit show will be.

image via Twitter from The Big Bang Theory



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