Menu
China's Internet loses The Big Bang Theory, US TV shows

China's Internet loses The Big Bang Theory, US TV shows

The shows had been licensed to China's top video sites, leaving questions over why they were pulled

Sohu has stopped showing "The Big Bang Theory."

Sohu has stopped showing "The Big Bang Theory."

Chinese online video sites were forced to pull the plug on The Big Bang Theory and three other US TV shows over the weekend on orders from the nation's regulators, leaving Internet users scratching their heads over why the shows were targeted.

The four shows, including The Good Wife, NCIS and The Practice, had originally been among the licensed programs offered by some of China's top video sites, but were mysteriously taken down.

On Monday, the CEO of Sohu, one of China's largest providers of online videos, signalled that Chinese regulators had stepped in, but declined to elaborate.

"Of course, I cannot comment on what happened," said Sohu CEO Charles Zhang in an earnings call. But he called the shutdown "a standalone event," adding that China's policy on U.S. TV shows "was not tightening up."

China's other top video sites, including Youku Tudou, declined to comment. But a clampdown on US. TV shows would be a major blow to the companies. The sites are spending millions to legally offer hit US TV shows as a way to draw in Chinese consumers. In Sohu's case, US TV shows make up less than 10 per cent of its video traffic, according to Zhang.

China is already notorious for its vast online censorship that routinely blocks anti-government and sexual content. Recently, the nation's authorities have launched a crackdown against online porn. One of China's top Internet companies, Sina, was later found to have posted pornographic content, and was forced to publicly apologize.

But why China has targeted The Big Bang Theory - a sitcom revolving around four nerds and their girlfriends - is unknown. The country's top online video sites are showing US TV shows with far more violence and sexual content. Among them is House of Cards, which features a storyline about corrupt political dealings with China, and The Walking Dead, a show about a zombie apocalypse.

China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television could not be reached for comment.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesregulationgovernmentSohuinternetvideo

Featured

Slideshows

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

​As the channel changes and industry voices deepen, the need for clarity and insight heightens. Market misconceptions talk of an “under pressure” distribution space, with competitors in that fateful “race for relevance” across New Zealand. Amidst the cliched assumptions however, distribution is once again showing its strength, as a force to be listened to, rather than questioned. Traditionally, the role was born out of a need for vendors and resellers to find one another, acting as a bridge between the testing lab and the marketplace. Yet despite new technologies and business approaches shaking the channel to its very core, distributors remain tied to the epicentre - providing the voice of reason amidst a seismic industry shift. In looking across both sides of the vendor and partner fences, the middle concept of the three-tier chain remains centrally placed to understand the metrics of two differing worlds, as the continual pulse checkers of the local channel. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable, in association with Dicker Data and rhipe, examined the pivotal role of distribution in understanding the health of the channel, educating from the epicentre as the market transforms at a rapid rate.

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel
Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar last night, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and resellers descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kickstart 2017. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017
Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow Electronics introduced Tenable Network Security to local resellers in Sydney last week, officially launching the distributor's latest security partnership across Australia and New Zealand. Representing the first direct distribution agreement locally for Tenable specifically, the deal sees Arrow deliver security solutions directly to mid-market and enterprise channel partners on both sides of the Tasman.

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel
Show Comments