Chinese popular web drama ‘Tientsin Mystic’ suddenly taken offline for ‘related policy reason’

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/2/8 17:18:40

Tientsin Mystic was removed from Chinese streaming site IQiyi this week, making the acclaimed suspense show one of the most high-profile in a third wave of web dramas being taken offline since the beginning of 2016.

The first wave of disappearances hit in January, 2016 and included at least six web dramas such as Go Princess Go, Wuxin: The Monster Killer, and The Lost Tomb. The second wave in October, 2016, and hit at least three web dramas, Yu Zui, Unforgiven, and Darker 2.

The latest web dramas to be deleted include another four including Nameless Desire and Nvsheng Sushe (Girls' Dorm).

First shown in July 2017, Tientsin Mystic scored 8.2 on the Chinese rating website Douban and was one of a few Chinese dramas including Day and Night to be bought last year by global franchise Netflix.

Some dramas returned after editing. Others, such as Yu Zui, have not yet seen any hint of coming back.

"Due to a related policy reason, the popular drama Tientsin Mystic will be suspended from February. There will be a further notice about rebroadcasting," an IQiyi representative responded to the Global Times on Thursday.

Speculation ran rife online about the possible reasons for a wave of apparent government censorship, with users competing to pin down the alleged sexual, superstitious or violent scene that might have crossed the relevant authority's red line.

With web dramas and their young paid audiences surging in 2016, the success of Tientsin Mystic made it an obvious target for official attention, according to a report on WeChat blog yuleguan001. More censorship of internet drama is to be expected in the future, the report concluded.

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