First of all, consider that most major media content from official sources like TV shows and movies are geolocked to approved countries. This has way more to do with copyright and licensing than censorship, but it’s what it is.

Second, consider the fact that every VPN around the world advertise that “if you’re in China, you can use us to get past censorship” in their marketing. Now, how many VPNs that Westerns use have an actual endpoint inside Mainland China? Totally legal to do btw, but how many prividers actually do it? Which, fun fact, the simple act of jumping the great firewall isn’t illegal. It’s only illegal of you commit a crime while bypassing the firewall, like if you were posting on a Western porn site or something, in which case it could be used to increase sentencing in court. Technically you can only use VPNs by Chinese companies (many of which still let you jump the firewall BTW), but as far as I know they don’t enforce it that much considering how prevalent Western VPNs are over there, and the fact they if they really cared they would have blocked all the major foreign VPN endpoints. Watching even explicitly state censored stuff isn’t illegal, it’s only illegal if you make, advertise, duplicate, or distribute it. Actually, additional fun fact, access and possession of porn is generally legal in China, they only criminalize, again, making, distributing, duplicating, or advertising it, that’s just their general philosophy when it comes to banned media.

Third, consider piracy. How often do you see Chinese media on western torrent sites or illegal streaming sites? I dunno about you, but pretty much never for me. Meanwhile, plenty of Chinese illegal streaming sites have all the Western shows you could want, and Chinese people torrent stuff all the time. Piracy is technically illegal in China, especially since torrenting counts as distribution, but I’ve personally never heard it enforced for regular Western movies and TV shows, only for porn and stuff like that. (Source: Am Chinese, lived in China) And there are tons of Chinese streaming sites, hosted in China, which you’d think would be pretty easy for them to shut down if they actually cared about it.

All in all, Chinese people aren’t starving for Western “freedom” media. The West is starving for Chinese media.

  • ButtigiegMineralMap
    1 year ago

    In the Chicago Tribune, they mentioned that in the past, as awful as US book banning was, it was limited to specific titles and not ranges of titles. I.E: Ban Book A on March 1, Ban Book B on March 15, Book C on March 20, etc. nowadays, the new standard is to ban several books all of a similar topic at once. I.E: books called “GenderQueer”, “Nonbinary” or “Intersex” in titles are banned on same day. So those books can’t be in school libraries. The article mentions that the US is going into a record year of book bannings.