×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Foreign Shows Deleted From Internet and Social Media in China

Foreign TV shows were removed from AcFun, a popular Chinese video site, earlier this week, the second time in recent days that a video website in China has been hit by what appears to be government intervention.

The deletions from AcFun followed a similar occurrence at Bilibili last week. Initial explanations said that unlicensed copyright material was removed from Bilibili, which allows uploading by users. But the removal of shows from AcFun as well points to political censorship and heightened regulation of online services in China, where the Communist government has been tightening its control of Internet and other media businesses.

Hong Kong media reported that “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and “Saturday Night Live” from the U.S. and “The Graham Norton Show” from Britain have been labeled as illegal. References to Winnie the Pooh were also removed from large parts of Chinese social media in recent days, a not infrequent occurrence since the bear’s name is often used online to signify Chinese President Xi Jinping.

In recent weeks, Chinese authorities said they would crack down on virtual private networks, or VPNs, which millions of people in China use to protect their online activities from prying and to get around government blocking of services such as Google and Facebook. The networks, which are banned in China, also allow users to watch foreign content as if they were in another country.

Live streaming sites have also been closed or restricted.

Such clampdowns occur regularly in China, especially ahead of major political events. The National Congress of the Communist Party of China, usually held once every five years, is tentatively scheduled to be held in October, and the country is also gearing up to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army.

Government censors routinely delete posts on websites and social media that carry sensitive words or the often clever substitutes that are dreamed up by web users to avoid keyword searches by censors. In the past few days, censors deleted many pages that either used the letters “RIP” or a candle symbol to refer to the death of democracy campaigner and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo.

More Digital

  • Alibaba Buys 8% Stake in Chinese

    Alibaba Buys 8% Stake in Chinese Video Platform Bilibili

    Alibaba has purchased an 8% stake in the Chinese online video platform Bilibili, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Bilibili is one of China’s top video streaming and entertainment platforms, with about 92 million monthly active users and 450 million page-views per day. Founded in 2009, it was listed on the NASDAQ last March. Alibaba’s [...]

  • Clevver-Logo

    Hearst Magazines Buys Clevver's Pop-Culture YouTube Channels After Defy's Demise

    Hearst Magazines has snapped up Clevver, a network of female-skewing lifestyle and pop-culture news YouTube channels that had been owned by now-defunct Defy Media. Clevver was left homeless after Defy’s sudden shutdown in November; its principals said at the time they were looking for a new home. Hearst Magazines sees a digital fit with Clevver’s [...]

  • "Brother" -- Episode 201-- Pictured (l-r):

    CBS Interactive's Marc DeBevoise on Streaming Boom, Content Strategy, and Apple

    Not everyone wants or needs to be Netflix to succeed in the streaming space. And not everyone sees Apple’s enigmatic new service as a threat. Even as rival streaming services offer gobs of content, CBS Interactive’s president and COO Marc DeBevoise sees the company’s targeted original programming strategy continuing to attract viewers to its All [...]

  • Rhett-Link-Good-Mythical-Morning

    Rhett & Link's Mythical Entertainment in Talks to Acquire Smosh (EXCLUSIVE)

    Smosh, the YouTube comedy brand left stranded after parent company Defy Media went belly-up, may be about to get a new business partner. Mythical Entertainment, the entertainment company founded by top YouTube comedy duo Rhett & Link, has been in talks about acquiring the Smosh brand, sources told Variety. Multiple potential buyers came forward to [...]

  • Pokemon Go

    Proposed 'Pokémon Go' Lawsuit Settlement May Remove Poké Stops, Gyms

    A proposed settlement in the class action lawsuit against “Pokémon Go” developer Niantic could remove or change a number of Poké Stops and Gyms in the popular augmented reality game. The proposed settlement was filed in a California court on Thursday and applies to anyone in the U.S. who owns or leases property within 100 meters [...]

  • Skyline of Doha at night with

    Qatar's beIN Rallies Support From U.S. Companies Against Pirate Broadcaster beoutQ

    Qatari powerhouse beIN Media Group has rallied support from American sports and entertainment entities, including Discovery and Fox, behind its request that the U.S. government place Saudi Arabia on its watch list of top intellectual property offenders. The Doha-based broadcaster, a state-owned spinoff of Al Jazeera news network, accuses the Saudi government of harboring pirate broadcaster [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content