FOREIGN TELEVISION SHOWS IN CHINA
Among the foreign shows that have been broadcast in China for sometime are “Bugs Bunny” and “Tom & Jerry”. In the 1990s some Japanese dramas became popular. This occurred even though Japanese have traditionally not been portrayed in a positive light in China. Chinese 20th century historical dramas often features Japanese villains and old film clips of Japanese atrocities from the 1930s. The U.S. ambassador once said "they treat the Japanese like monsters."
Taiwanese, South Korean and Hong Kong companies have had great success marketing their games shows, dramas and martial arts shows on the mainland. In the early 2000s, Korean television dramas became very popular in China. The BBC has made huge profits selling the rights to its shows abroad. In the case of China, it has even made profits on programs that weren't shown. CCTV bought “Anna Karennina” and then authorities banned it because it showed adultery.
In the early 2010s, British dramas like “Sherlock” and “Downton Abbey” were drawing viewers in China. The Wall Street Journal reported at the time: “Comparing levels of discussion on different social media sites, a recent study from entertainment research company Entgroup (in Chinese) found that British dramas were catching on among China’s wealthy and well-educated youth. While virtually unknown on the Chinese Internet a few years ago, British dramas now account for more than 9 percent of foreign TV discussion across Chinese social media sites, compared to around 28 percent for Korean soap operas, according to the study. [Source: Wall Street Journal, July 3, 2013]
“On websites that cater more exclusively to white collar workers and college students, the number for British shows jumps to more than 13 percent, versus less than 1 percent for Korean soaps, according to the Entgroup report, which found that more than half of those who followed British dramas held at least a bachelor’s degree. That puts British shows at the top an increasingly snobbish pop-cultural hierarchy in China — described by local media as the “disdain chain” (in Chinese) — in which British drama fans look down on fans of American shows, who themselves look down on Korean soap fans, who in turn look down on fans of domestic dramas. China Real Time has more.
Over time to some degree foreign shows have become less popular as the quality of Chinese-produced programs has improved. In the old days, American shows such as “Baywatch” and “Dynasty” and Hong Kong entertainment shows drew three times more viewers than Chinese shows in their time slots. By the 2000s they were about even.
On getting foreign television shows in China, Alan Nonatter posted on Quora.com in 2021,All TV is cable, no satellite receivers and no aerials. However you can download Western TV shows and films with Chinese subtitles for free (don’t know about other countries) and with a VPN can get anything that's streamed like Netflix amazon, etc.
On the audience in China that watches foreign shows, Ying Zhu wrote in in the Wall Street Journal’s China Real Time blog: Though foreign shows may be popular, they are preferred not by the masses, but by sophisticated urban elites who are wealthier, better-educated and pride themselves on having cultivated a taste for quality Western programs, as opposed to the East Asia pop culture devoured by what the elites see as viewers with less discerning tastes. And of course for elites, Chinese domestic TV dramas are further down the food chain still. Social snobbery is the very fabric of the global elite, which ascending members of China’s elite society yearn to be a part of. [Source: Ying Zhu China Real Time blog, Wall Street Journal, May 19, 2014. Ying Zhu is professor of media culture at the City University of New York and an expert on Chinese media & society]
See Separate Article KOREAN DRAMAS IN CHINA factsanddetails.com
Regulations on Foreign Television Shows in China
There are strict quotas on the number of foreign shows that be can shown in China. In February 2012, the Chinese government announced that China's television broadcasters would be limited in the number of imported series they could show as China continued its effort contain rein in foreign influence. Under the new rules, no foreign TV series could be shown during the primetime hours of 7:00pm to 10:00pm and overseas-produced shows "could take up no more than 25 percent of total programming time each day," the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television said. It also said domestic channels would not be allowed to show too much programming from any one country or region, but did not elaborate. [Source: Associated Press, February 14, 2012]
In January 2012, Chinese President Hu Jintao said hostile forces abroad were trying to westernise and divide the country with their cultural influence and that officials must remain vigilant against such efforts. Hu's remarks are part of the Communist party's broader push to reinforce socialist principles in an attempt to counter calls by liberal Chinese for "universal values" such as freedom of expression, which state media often portray as western concepts unsuited to China's circumstances.
Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore wrote in the Asian Times, “Imported television shows watched by millions will be canned during China's prime "golden time" hours, A month earlier popular prime-time entertainment programs were slashed by two-thirds. The latest clampdown was aimed at "vulgar" foreign television shows — which mostly hail from Asia. The newest rules aim to boost China's domestic television industry, forcing audiences away from Asian competition towards local shows. Many feel that the move is also an attempt to protect state-run China Central Television (CCTV), known for its stiff evening news and stale dramas. In the latest rules, all foreign shows — which are mainly sourced from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand and South Korea - must pass state approval. "TV series that contain vulgar and violent scenes should not be imported," stated China Daily, adding that "severe punishments" will be handed out to channels who violate the new rules. According to the state-run newspaper, the regulations will help create a "favorable environment for TV shows made by companies on the Chinese mainland". [Source: Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore, Asian Times, February 24, 2012]
In the 2000s, only 15 percent of the programming could be imported during prime time . In May 2004, Chinese censors told television stations to show less foreign programming, especially those that do not fit China’s “social system and national conditions.” A Chinese ban on nearly all foreign cartoons in May 2008 prevented “Spongebob Squarepants, Mickey Mouse” and “Pokeman” from being shown in China at prime time between 5:00pm and 9:00pm. The ban was put in place, it is said, primarily to protect China’s fledgling animation business.
See Rules on Video Streaming in China POPULAR WEBSITES, STREAMING SERVICES AND INTERNET COMPANIES IN CHINA factsanddetails.com
American Television Shows in China
Many American television shows such as “Sex in the City” and “Friends” initially drew fans who watched them on pirated DVDs. Later they could be downloaded complete with subtitles off the Internet. Fans of “Friends” used to gather to watch episodes of the show on a laptop computers. Some of the shows were intitially put on the Internet in subtitled form through services like BitTorrent and Fengruan that rely of teams of volunteers to do the subtitles for free
Some American television shows made inroads into China by licensing with the Chinese portal sohu.com and streaming online in the early 2010s. According to to Los Angeles Times: “American shows benefited from the increasing popularity and legitimacy of Internet TV, which offers spicier fare than China's bland state-run channels and gives busy professionals the convenience of when-you-want it viewing in a nation largely devoid of on-demand programming, DVRs or TiVos.” [Source: Julie Makinen, Los Angeles Times, October 28, 2012]
Dashan, China's favorite Westerner in the 2000s “Desperate Housewives” began showing on state-run television in December 2005 with censors snipping out many of the more overt sex and violence. Some Chinese became fans of the show. A 23-year-old Beijing resident told AP, “I think a lot of young Chinese people will like this show.” Others found it to be too much. A 49-year-old bureaucrat in Inner Mongolia told AP, “It made me laugh, but it was also embarrassing. There was too much sex.” The name of the show in China is Crazy Housewives.
One person who watched a lot of American shows online wrote on an Internet chat line: “After watching these for some time, I felt the attitudes of some of the characters were beginning to influence me. It's hard to describe, but I think I learned a way of life from some of them. They are good at simplifying complex problems, which I think has something to do with American culture.”
Among the Chinese-themed shows that have been popular in the United States are “Kung Fu”. David Carradine Carradine played played Caine, the philosophizing martial artist. Carradine was selected over Bruce Lee for the leading role on the show even though Lee developed the idea for the show. “The Survivor” that was shown beginning in September 2007 was set in China.
Broadcasts of “Sponge Bob Squarepants” began in January 2006. Nickleodean’s The Kid’s Choice Awards was allowed to go on the air. The episodes in which kids voted on their favorite burp was cut. In August 2006, the government decided to ban foreign cartoons such as “The Simpsons, Pokeman” and “Mickey Mouse” from prime time television to give Chinese animated shows such as Monkey King a better chance at success.
Popular American Television Shows in China
On popular U.S. shows in China, Kaiser Kuo, a well-known media figure in China that has lived in the U.S., posted in Quora.com in 2016: Shows from the past: Friends (still popular and available on major Chinese video sites), How I Met Your Mother, Prison Break, 24, Lost, Sex and the City, Desperate Housewives. More recent shows: The Big Bang Theory (before it was arbitrarily banned here), Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Two Broke Girls (go figure, it's a mystery as to why), American Horror Story series, the CSI franchise, Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Vampire Diaries, The Flash, [Source: Quora]
The 1960s-driven TV drama 'Mad Men' was popular with young Chinese professionals in the early 2010s. "Prison Break" and "CSI," had tens of millions of fans. "Friends" was so popular it spawned a series of books with scripts from each season translated into Mandarin. Beijing even had a Friends Café, modeled after the Central Perk coffee ship in the series. [Source: Julie Makinen, Los Angeles Times, October 28, 2012]
The American television series “Hunter”, starring former football player Fred Dryer, was popular in China in the 1980s. It was one of the few American shows allowed to be shown at that time. In the late 1990s, producers were exploring the possibility of producing a feature film called "Hunter in China." “Oprah” also has been popular.
House of Cards Popular in China in the Mid 2010s
William Wan wrote in the Washington Post: “Frank Underwood — the scheming U.S. congressman in the Netflix drama “House of Cards” — may be the most murderous, morally corrupt, conniving politician in Washington. And the Chinese can’t get enough of him. Some viewers here stumble over references to filibusters and struggle to follow Underwood’s thick-as-molasses South Carolina drawl. But the darkly cynical television show, an American hit, has attracted a sizable following in Beijing anyway. It’s little surprise that a show devoted to political machinations would resonate in a country with a long history of back-stabbing leadership purges and inner-party struggle. Many in the Chinese public perceive their leaders as brazenly unscrupulous, with the only goal in governance to consolidate power and wealth. [Source: William Wan, Washington Post, February 18, 2014]
“But another reason the show may be a success here, some China experts in the United States fear, is because its unflattering portrayal of U.S. politics affirms Chinese government propaganda about American hypocrisy and bullying. In the show, actor Kevin Spacey plays Underwood, a congressional leader who is rejected for a Cabinet appointment, then claws his way to revenge and higher office. “For Chinese, America is the big bugaboo in the world, so it makes sense that there’s interest in the intrigue and the power behind Washington,” said Michael Auslin, Asia expert at the American Enterprise Institute. “That said, it’s probably not a great thing if this is the only side they’re seeing. . . . To truly understand U.S. politics, I would prefer they watch C-SPAN, but that’s probably not realistic.”
Since its release of the second season in China in February 2014, the show “has ranked No. 1 among American shows streamed here by Sohu, the Chinese equivalent of Netflix and owner of the show’s Chinese streaming rights. (“Big Bang Theory” is No. 2 this week.) According to Sohu, the largest proportion of the 24.5 million Chinese views from last season came from government-sector employees and residents of China’s capital, Beijing. Netflix does not release viewing statistics for its shows.
“Wang Qishan, one of the seven most powerful leaders in China, is said to be particularly captivated, according to reports in Chinese media and officials with ties to his department, who asked to speak anonymously. As head of China’s disciplinary committee, Wang is charged with keeping cadres in line and instilling discipline throughout party ranks — a portfolio somewhat similar to that of Underwood, the majority whip in “House of Cards.” China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency acknowledged last week that “a large number of our country’s senior leaders in government and enterprises and opinion leaders also highly recommend this show.”
Micoblog Posts with Chinese Characteristic on U.S. Television Shows
One Chinese posted: ““‘Friends’ shows the loss of humanity, social degeneration, rotten morality and overflowing lust typically caused by capitalist private ownership. All six main characters in the show have severe life discipline violations. Buried in the stupefying lust for money and sex of a capitalist society, the characters have lost all direction in life. All they are capable of doing is drown in that lust and indulge their own selfish desires. They have sex at will, live together without marriage, and frequently change sexual partners. Some of them even sleep with each other. This show serves as a slap in the face for those who blindly long for the capitalist lifestyle.” By @ [Source: Mia Li and Bree Feng, Sinosphere blog, New York Times, April 28, 2014]
““‘Modern Family’ shows the kind of twisted family relations typical of a capitalist society. In order to escape from the slums, one poor Latino immigrant woman was forced to sleep with a rich man old enough to be her father. One middle-aged couple becomes extremely twisted under the economic burdens and social pressures of raising three young children. Two young men live together for a long time to satisfy their improper appetites. To fill their empty and lonely lives, they adopt a little girl from a third world country. This show serves as an important negative example for the construction of our socialist civilization and new socialist family.” By @
““The owner, cashier and waitresses in the diner in ‘Two Broke Girls’ spend their days tormenting and attacking each other. The show portrays the ugly acts of cheating, sabotaging and back-stabbing between people in a capitalist society, where sympathy and love don’t exist. It also reveals the irreconcilable conflict and class struggle between the poor proletariat (Max and Caroline) and the capitalist (Han Lee). The show serves as a reminder for the further solidifying of the construction of our socialist state.” By @
On “The Big Bang Theory,” one commenter on Sina Weibo said: ‘The Big Bang Theory’ tells the story of four young men of science who made the mistake of devoting their lives to scientific research in a capitalist country. Despite their age, they still can’t get married or afford to buy their own apartments. Instead, they live in a small apartment of less than 150 square meters and subsist on junk food. There are heartbreaking scenes of a disabled Indian immigrant forced to eat sitting on the floor for a long time. The show explores the racism, social inequality and the degenerate, promiscuous sexual lives of women in a Western society. It sounds a piercing alarm for the many young people in China who blindly seek to immigrate to the U.S.” By @
“As for “The Good Wife”: “‘The Good Wife’ tells the story of how a housewife with a cheating husband in a capitalist society decides to turn her anger into the strength of independence, and finally become a successful lawyer. It is a show meant to inspire women. What’s more, the show also reveals the darkness, corruption and flaws of so-called ‘capitalist democracy and the rule of law,’ which makes it perfect for CCTV’s legal channel.” By @
Big Bang Theory and NCIS Banned in China
In April 2014, “The Big Bang Theory,” “The Good Wife,” “NCIS” and “The Practice” were all banned in China under mysterious circumstances. Foreign TV shows are a threat to state-owned broadcasters, who have seen new media undermine both their political control and revenue streams. According to the Global Times in 2014: “American and British TV dramas are increasingly popular in China with video streaming sites stepping up their import. In 2011, the cost for importing The Big Bang Theory was $150,000 per episode, proving that importing shows has become big business. Charles Zhang, CEO of sohu.com and its video unit, said that video site companies would pay $100-150 million this year for American TV shows. [Source: Wei Xi, Global Times, April 28, 2014]
Ying Zhu wrote in in the Wall Street Journal’s China Real Time blog: “When Chinese censors abruptly pulled the plug on four U.S. TV shows" named above "from websites in China, the move left China watchers scratching their heads. After all, the banned TV shows... pale in their depictions of violence, sex and/or political scandal when compared to other foreign shows that can still be streamed online in China. “House of Cards,” for example, is by far the most transgressive when it comes to violence and scandal, yet it’s so far evaded the honor of being banned. [Source: Ying Zhu China Real Time blog, Wall Street Journal, May 19, 2014. Ying Zhu is professor of media culture at the City University of New York and an expert on Chinese media & society]
“But for those who’ve been following the moves of China’s censors more closely, the ban shouldn’t come as a surprise. Here’s the backstory. In March, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television reissued two internet content regulation notices that the SARFT had previously rolled out, which together aimed to root out excessive violence and sex from shows and required more pre-approval for programming. Though the online content guidelines were mostly targeted at domestic programming, Chinese social media users quickly began voicing concerns that their access to U.S. shows might be next to be jeopardized.
“Such backlash was clear in an online poll conducted by Sina in March in which more than 130,000 respondents — or 95 percent of those polled — voted against banning U.S. TV dramas, which prompted the government to explicitly say that the regulations would not apply to foreign programs. The regulator’s inaction on foreign exports agitated domestic content providers, who appealed to censors for fair treatment so that they’d be able to compete with foreign producers on an equal footing. And in April, Chinese president Xi Jinping launched a campaign to rid Internet of porn, rumors and other unruly contents, which soon saw the ban of four U.S. Dramas.
“In response to the ban, Chinese viewers took to social media to openly mock and ridicule censors. The outpouring of disbelief and outrage recalled another incident in 2011, when censors removed Avatar from China’s 2D theaters to make room for China’s heavily promoted domestic film, Confucius. At the time, Chinese fans rose to Hollywood’s defense, publicly snubbing Confucius. They had a key ally on their side during that episode: the market. Many theaters driven by bottom line, in fact, simply ignored the government’s order to remove Avatar. The government eventually backed down, restoring Avatar to more screens.
“But this year, it doesn’t look like any such victory is forthcoming. The reason is simple economics. Chinese local producers want to keep a lion’s share of the massive domestic online content market, and they want to cultivate their own fans instead of siding with the fans of US or UK shows...The only thing that might change the equation is, perhaps, Chinese viewers. But let’s not fool ourselves about the motivations of those protesting the ban on the four U.S. shows. The backlash is more about a desire to connect with cutting-edge global trends than it is an effort to, say, demand more political openness within China. The motivation is similar to wanting access to French wine and cheeses, Italian fashion and German cars — access to such goods brings about instant consumer gratification. The moaning and mourning of the loss of instant access to a few U.S. TV dramas for Chinese viewers might seem like a trivial matter. But for the Communist Party, the rise of millions of active viewers in defense of their consumer rights may pose a serious challenge.
Shows About Chinese Living Abroad
“Beijinger in New York” was a popular show in the late 1990s. Based in a best-selling novel, it was 30-part miniseries about a Chinese cellists who arrives in New York and saves enough money from working as a dishwasher to start his own business. While working at an American sweat shop the main character has a series of run ins with his American boss and eventually punches him out. The Chinese writer Jianying Zha wrote in the New York Times that the America in “Beijinger in New York” is "a cold world of winners and losers, of cutthroat competition and brutal alienation where Chinese are either hardened or crushed."
“Ultra Rich Asian Girls of Vancouver” is a reality show that chronicles the lives of a wealthy group of friends, including Weymi Cho mentioned above. Jiayang Fan wrote in The New Yorker: “The show, filmed in Mandarin and English, is broadcast online and is watched avidly by Chinese people worldwide. It follows the lives of half a dozen young women in disorienting, whip-fast edits of bling and scornful gazes. The women spend wildly to prove their status, but affect disdain for the ostentation of others. Season 1 ends with a woman being accused of ghastly crimes — attempting to pass off fake Hermès bags and wearing non-designer attire. Season 2 picks up in L.A., where two of the women are scoping out luxury houses. I asked some of the women on “Ultra Rich Asian Girls” about being the objects of both envy and censure. “In Web forums about the show, people are always, like, Why do they have to show off like that?” Weymi said with a shrug. “I don’t think I’m showing off. I’m just living my life.”[Source: Jiayang Fan. The New Yorker . February 22, 2016]
“After shopping, Weymi and I went to the filming of the show’s second-season finale, in an upscale Thai restaurant that had been cleared for the occasion. We arrived early, and I chatted with the show’s creator, Kevin K. Li. Kevin, who is thirty-seven, was born in Vancouver to a Cantonese-speaking family and has worked for various broadcast networks in the city. He told me that he had envisaged the show as a mashup of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, ” his favorite program growing up, and the “Real Housewives” franchise. He said, “I figured, if I wanted to know the kind of deluxe lives these kids led, so would people in Canada and the U.S. and Asia.”
See Separate Article RICH CHINESE ABROAD: THEIR HOUSES, LIVES AND WHY THEY ARE THERE factsanddetails.com
North American Actors in China
Mark Rowswell, a 6-foot-tall, blue-eyed Canadian who speaks fluent Mandarin, is another well known foreigner in China. Known in China as Dashan (“Big Mountain”), he has appeared regularly on television, advertising a number of products. One survey in the early 2000s found that 80 percent of Chinese knew who he was.
Rosewell first studied Chinese in school in Canada and became fluent after living in Beijing. Earning about $500,000 a year, he hosts his own television show and does a number of public service announcement, encouraging Chinese to give up smoking, think twice about suicide and do their bit to reduce global warming. He was the first Westerner to perform “xiangsheng”, an ancient form of comedy dialogue, and prides himself in the progress he has made breaking down Chinese stereotypes of Westerners.
Kyle Rothstein, an American who was forced by his father to attend a bilingual English-Mandarin school in San Francisco, when was five and now speaks Mandarin fluently, is a well known child actor in China. He has appeared four television shows and met two American presidents and countless Chinese dignitaries. He starred in feature film produced by father — “Milk and Fashion” — about an American kid growing up in China.
See Separate Article FOREIGN ACTORS AND AMERICAN CELEBRITIES IN CHINA factsanddetails.com
Foreign Babes in Beijing
Rachel DeWoskin One of the most popular shows in China in the mid 1990s was “Foreign Babes in Beijing”, a 20-part miniseries featuring seven foreigners — three Americans, two Russians, one Japanese and one German. In one episode an American with cancer is cured with Chinese medicine after Western medicine fails. In another episode a Chinese man wins the love of a beautiful girl after he pummels an American who criticizes Chinese manners.
In another episode a German girl falls in love in the "Chinese way" and refuses to even kiss her Chinese boyfriend until they were married. One of the most despicable characters in “Foreign Babes in Beijing” is Robert, an American students who eventually got his comeuppance when he is punched in the face by a the handsome Chinese student, Li Tianliang.
Rachel DeWoskin, a 22-year-old graduate of Columbia University, had the leading role “Foreign Babes in Beijing” in the show. She played Jexi, a wealthy student who seduces a married man with a child and takes him to the United States with her. In one episode she is shown dancing wildly at a disco and later asking her lover "you can't love anyone besides your wife" when he hesitates to make love with her. [Source: Tara Suilen Duffy, Los Angeles Times, April 1996]
DeWoskin was arguably the most popular foreigner in Beijing in the 1990s even though she played a rather unsavory character. Millions of Chinese watched her on the show. Fans mobbed her on the streets; she received marriage proposals from Chinese men; and marketed her own brand of lipstick Later, DeWoskin wrote a book about experiences called appropriately enough “Foreign Babes in Beijing”. It got good reviews for its insights into Chinese culture and the amusing, self-deprecating descriptions of her experiences. A Hollywood company has already bought the movie rights . Book: “Foreign Babes in Beijing” by Rachel DeWoskin, (Granta Books, 2005)
Taiwanese Television Shows in China
One person posted on Quora.com in 2020: There use to be a time when some Taiwan TV show were really big on the mainland” but no so much now. “The problem is over the last decade both the mainland companies and the entertainment industry figured out that it made more sense to just do those TV shows on the mainland, a lot of the big time entertainers now do more work on the mainland than in Taiwan.
This is creating some serious potential issues not far down the road (infact, already happening.) as the two side’s relationship is in a negative trend following a relative warming period from 2008~2014ish. The lady who was one of the host of the above mentioned show, her sister (whom she was in a girls band with to start their entertainer career.) married a mainland tycoon, and that gets them dragged into really ugly politics quite a bit… mostly coming from the Taiwan side.
I suppose there is a niche show that has a pretty serious following on the mainland, though it is a bit niche even in Taiwan, but the modern puppetry dramas which tend to be represented in a format more closely related to Japanese Shonan type (i.e the Naruto and Dragon Balls of the world.) has a small but pretty devoted following on the mainland.
Meteor Garden and F4
F4, a Taiwanese pretty boy group, was a big phenomena throughout Asia in the early 2000s. They had some hit songs and were stars of a popular soap opera, “Meteor Garden”. Their first album “Meteor Rain” sold around 500,000 legal copies and an estimated 5 million pirated ones.
F4, which stands for Flowers Four was created by Angie Chai, a chain-smoking television producer who hand picked the four boys in F4 herself and hired them for “Meteor Garden”, a drama about four rich kids inspired by a Japanese anime. One boy, Vanness Wu came from Los Angeles. Another, Jerry Yen, was recruited through a modeling agency. Ken Zhu was spotted waiting tables at a restaurant and the forth, Vic Zhou, had accompanied a friend to an audition.
Meteor Garden was shown at hundreds of local television stations in China, each of whom paid at least $250,000 for broadcast rights,Angie Chai and other people associated with the show and F4 became very rich. When they arrived in China in 2002 for a series of promotions, they were mobbed by hundreds of screaming teenage girls and 20-something young women at the Shanghai Airport. Over 10,000 people showed up when they did a shopping center appearance, Five thousand police also showed up too. Their concert ended up being canceled at the last moment due to security concerns. .
Meteor Garden was yanked off the air and F4 was banned in China when Chinese lawmakers began complaining that teenagers were using slang from the show and sassing back at their teachers and falling in love like the characters on Meteor Garden. Young people continued watching the show after it was banned on pirated videos and DVDs.
There was a big outcry among viewers and in the press after Meteor Garden was banned. One reporter told the Washington Post, “We made fun of the ban. We thought it was dumb, anyway.” After the outcry the ban on the show remained in place but no the ban on the group. Some local stations continued showing the show, arguing they would go bankrupt if they didn’t. The Chinese computer company Legend paid million to have F4 as the”Digital Ambassadors.”
Image Sources: Wikicommons, Amazon Chinese DVD and video rental webites such as China Culture Network
Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, National Geographic, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, Lonely Planet Guides, Compton’s Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.
Last updated May 2022