Netflix Show Lasted Three Days In China Before It Got Censored

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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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The Netflix show “BoJack Horseman” was reportedly blocked in China just days after debuting in the country, according to a Bloomberg report published Tuesday.

Through a licensing deal with China’s biggest streaming service iQiyi, Netflix finally made its way into the large market and featured its content June 19. But it appears “BoJack Horseman” — which Netflix CEO Reed Hasting once said was his favorite original series — was too unseemly for the Chinese government.

“Adjustments need to be made to the content,” iQiyi told Bloomberg, without providing further detail.

The senior vice president of iQiyi said earlier in June (prior to the censoring of BoJack Horseman) that officials in China would need adequate time to review subject material before making the show available.

“The approval process is a bit long in China, takes at least a month,” the iQiyi executive who negotiated with Netflix said, according to Bloomberg.

While Chinese authorities have not given explicit reasoning for censoring the animated comedy series (that is relatively adult), it is not very surprising. Not only does the country seem to favor its own businesses to the extent where it blocks access to other foreign companies, it also disallows certain services.

Weibo, China’s version of the social media platform Twitter, for example, reportedly prohibited millions of users from uploading videos or pictures during the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre earlier in June. (RELATED: China Battles For Internet Hegemony After America Gives Up Control)

China also recently ordered that users within the country starting July 1 will longer able to download VPN (virtual private network) apps because such a technical system allows its citizens to circumvent the country’s firewall (also known as the Great Firewall of China).

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