Major Chinese video sharing websites, including Tudou, Youku and PPS, have removed the “Japan” category from their list of countries, making it harder for users to find Japanese content. Presumably this move is related to recent spats between China and Japan over the Diaoyu Islands, though whether the sites have bowed to government pressure or are placing nationalism over profit remains to be seen.
Tech in Asia undertook a quick survey of the sites affected, and found that Japan had indeed been excised (images via Tech in Asia). Youku:
However, as the Asahi Shimbum points out, Japanese rights-holders shouldn’t be too worried by this move, as the vast majority of Japanese videos on Chinese sites “are actually pirated versions of shows and movies that have not obtained copyrights.”
NB: Hat tip to Globe and Mail reporter Mark MacKinnon for the pirating joke:
Chinese Internet companies are SO ANGRY over the island dispute that they will no longer pirate Japanese movies: ajw.asahi.com/article/behind…
— Mark MacKinnon/马凯 (@markmackinnon) October 4, 2012