Chinese watchdog the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television has reportedly ordered local video sites to halt streaming of some U.S. TV shows. According to the Associated Press, they include current series The Big Bang Theory, The Good Wife and NCIS, as well as legal drama The Practice which ended its domestic run in 2004. Leading site Youku confirmed to the news agency that it had received notification from SAPPRFT that the shows could no longer be streamed. No reason was given for the clampdown. Online streaming has traditionally been less hindered over its content as compared to state television and movies which are routinely censored. However, sites, which license hundreds of shows that are streamed with ads, are sometimes ordered to remove content that is deemed unsuitable. Late last month, the South China Morning Post said internet users were up in arms over talk of new censorship guidelines which could limit what Western series they can access. Shows like House Of Cards — despite its Season 2 themes of Chinese political corruption — and Sherlock have been extremely popular online. The AP said today that another leading site, Sohu, counts Nikita and Masters Of Sex among its most popular shows. Neither was included in the recent SAPPRFT order.
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