Netflix removes Chinese series featuring illegal nine-dash line map

By Mai Nhat   July 10, 2023 | 03:21 pm PT
Netflix removes Chinese series featuring illegal nine-dash line map
A promotional photo of Chinese series "Flight to You". Photo by Netflix
Netflix Vietnam has removed the Chinese series “Flight to You,” which features images of China’s illegal nine-dash line map that violates Vietnam’s maritime sovereignty.

"Due to some details in the episodes that are prohibited by Vietnamese law, Netflix has removed the series ‘Flight to You’ from the platform in Vietnam," said a representative from Netflix. The series can still be streamed on Netflix in other countries.

Vi Kien Thanh, director of the Vietnam Cinema Department, said that authorities are waiting for reports from the units that have screened this series that are due Wednesday. The Department is assigning personnel to detect films with violations in cyberspace but is facing many difficulties due to the large quantity of content.

The department had sent a notice to Netflix and FPT Play on Sunday asking the platforms to remove "Flight to You" after detecting maps containing the illegal nine-dash line appearing in nine episodes of the series.

China has used the nine-dash line to illegally claim vast swathes of the South China Sea, known in Vietnam as the East Sea, but the claim has been internationally rejected and condemned.

The department said that the series is filled with inappropriate content that violates Vietnam’s maritime sovereignty, making it ineligible for distribution in the country.

Also on Sunday, a representative of FPT Play said the series had been removed from its application and related sites.

"Flight to You," premiered in China last year, is a romantic drama about young people working in aviation.

In the past, several international movies containing images of the nine-dash line have been blocked in Vietnam

On July 3, the Vietnam Cinema Department said that the movie "Barbie" was banned in Vietnam because of an image of the illegal nine-dash line map that appeared in a scene. In March 2022, the action-adventure film "Uncharted" was banned from Vietnamese cinemas for the same reason.

In December 2019, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism fined cinema chain CGV VND170 million ($7,193) for screening "Abominable," an animated film that also shows the illegal map. This movie was licensed and screened for ten days before being removed from theaters. Some staff of the Cinema Department were reprimanded for their negligence.

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