Netflix and FPT Telecom have ceased offering the Chinese romantic TV drama, Flight to You, in Vietnam following a directive from the country’s authorities.
The Vietnamese government claimed that the drama violated sovereignty laws by depicting a disputed map that showed islands in the South China Sea as non-Vietnamese territory. Despite FPT Telecom blurring the map image, the culture ministry’s cinema department stated that the drama contained inappropriate content and violated sovereignty laws.
The cinema department’s review revealed that the controversial “nine-dash line” map, which suggests China’s sovereignty over a significant portion of the South China Sea, appeared in several scenes across nine episodes. As a result, the companies were given a 24-hour ultimatum, starting from Monday, to remove the show from platforms serving Vietnam.
This move by Vietnam marks the second time within a week that the country has sought to restrict foreign entertainment. Recently, Vietnam banned the movie Barbie and the film Uncharted due to their depiction of a disputed map of the South China Sea. Last week, the organizer of Blackpink’s Vietnam concerts also apologized for publishing the same disputed map and pledged to remove it.
Despite the removal of Flight to You by Netflix and FPT Telecom, the drama is still accessible on Huace Croton TV Vietnam’s YouTube account, featuring Vietnamese narration.
FPT Telecom confirmed their compliance with government authorities’ requests by removing the Chinese movie, stating, “we always fully comply with the regulations.” Netflix spokesperson acknowledged their removal of the series in Vietnam, following contact from the country’s regulators, but emphasized its availability in other markets.
In adherence to the Vietnamese government’s order, Flight to You has been removed from streaming platforms within the country, raising concerns about content censorship and sovereignty issues surrounding the South China Sea.