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Friends: The Reunion's Chinese-censored version has to compete in China with uncensored pirated versions

  • China’s leading video streamers iQiyi, Tencent and Alibaba’s Youku all premiered a version of the HBO Max reunion on Thursday with six minutes cut out, including appearances by BTS, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber -- all of whom have run afoul of the Chinese government. Yet Bilibili, a YouTube-like platform that allows users to upload videos, has angered the three streamers for allowing the uploading of the uncensored pirated version. "iQiyi wrote that the platform was guilty of 'disrespecting of intellectual property, flagrant piracy and behavior that undermines of order of the online video industry,'" reports Variety's Rebecca Davis. "Tencent denounced the site for 'severely harming the legitimate rights and interests of both the content creators and the rights holders.' The trio called on industry players and citizens at large to respect IP laws to create a 'healthy copyright environment.' Some on Chinese social media remarked on the strange irony of platforms that heavily censored the show trumpeting the importance of protecting source material." One Bilibili user calls the three streamers hypocritical since they're not respecting the content creators with their censored versions. Another adds: “I’m laughing to death. Which of these four sites didn’t get their start in piracy? These three firms were full of so-called pirated copies, but now that they’ve eaten their fill and wiped themselves clean, they pretend like they have nothing to do with it.”

    TOPICS: Friends, Censorship