Vietnam orders Netflix to remove Chinese TV drama over disputed map; govt gives streaming service 24 hours to take out content

The "nine-dash line" map in the TV series "Flight to You" appears on Netflix Vietnam. - Vietnam News/ANN

HANOI (Bloomberg): Netflix Inc. and FPT Telecom stopped offering the Chinese romantic TV drama Flight to You in Vietnam after Hanoi said it violated sovereignty laws by depicting a disputed map showing islands in the South China Sea islands as non-Vietnamese territory.

The culture ministry’s cinema department said on its website that even after FPT Telecom blurred the image of the map, the 39-episode drama features inappropriate content, breaking Vietnam’s sovereignty laws.

The department said its review showed that China’s "nine-dash line” - a controversial map suggesting sovereignty over a wide swath of the contested South China Sea - is featured in various scenes in nine episodes.

It gave the companies 24 hours from Monday to remove the show from platforms serving Vietnam.

Wang Kai (left) and Seven Tan star in the Chinese TV series Flight To You. - PHOTO: FLIGHT TO YOU/WEIBOWang Kai (left) and Seven Tan star in the Chinese TV series Flight To You. - PHOTO: FLIGHT TO YOU/WEIBO

The move marks the second time in a week Hanoi has sought to restrict foreign entertainment.

The South-East Asian nation has already banned the movie Barbie last week and the film Uncharted last year, also over a disputed map of the South China Sea. Last week, the organizer of Blackpink’s Vietnam concerts scheduled for Hanoi later this month apologized for publishing the map on one of its websites and pledged to remove it.

The drama Flight to You is still available with Vietnamese narration on Huace Croton TV Vietnam’s YouTube account as of Monday morning.

FPT confirmed in an emailed statement that it removed the Chinese movie and said "we always fully comply with the regulations” when requested by government authorities.

A Netflix spokesperson confirmed the company removed the series in Vietnam after being contacted by the country’s regulators, adding "it remains available on our service in other markets.” - Bloomberg

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Aseanplus News

S. Korean govt asks young couples why they refuse to have children
Asian markets mixed ahead of US inflation data, Fed decision
Indonesian chains Kenangan Coffee and Fore Coffee brew up a storm in Singapore
Foreign investors snap 5-week buying streak on Bursa Malaysia
Ringgit opens on softer note against US dollar
Oil tanker runs aground in Indonesian waters
China and Vietnam to cement ties
Farm to cull 900 pigs amid outbreak of swine fever
Another 400 ethnic Rohingya land in Aceh
Cambodia’s ruling party holds extraordinary congress

Others Also Read