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Netflix Removes Australian Spy Drama in Vietnam Over Depiction of South China Sea Map

Jeff Kotuby

Broadcast authorities in Vietnam have gotten an Australian show removed from Netflix’s service in the country over diplomatic issues.

According to a report by Reuters, Australian spy show “Pine Gap” has been removed from the platform due to a map that appears within the show. The map depicts China’s “nine-dash line” across the South China Sea, showing that Vietnam is under China’s jurisdiction. The map is displayed within scenes of two episodes of the show.

“Following a written legal demand from the Vietnamese regulator, we have removed the licensed series, Pine Gap, from Netflix in Vietnam, to comply with local law,” a Netflix spokesperson said.

The “nine-dash line” is a line of demarcation used by the People’s Republic of China to stake their claims of territories in the South China Sea. The lines are highly contested, especially by sovereign nations within the territory, including Vietnam. This has led to standoffs between China and Vietnam throughout the south Asian waterways in recent years.

“Netflix’s violations angered and hurt the feelings of the entire people of Vietnam,” the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information said in a statement on its website. “This is the third time in a row in the last 12 months that Netflix has been found to distribute movies and TV shows containing content which violate Vietnam’s sovereignty.”


Netflix is a subscription video streaming service that includes on-demand access to 3,000+ movies, 2,000+ TV Shows, and Netflix Originals like Stranger Things, Mindhunter, Queer Eye, and Russian Doll. They are constantly adding new shows and movies — and have even begun creating original films like The Irishman (Robert De Niro, Al Pacino) and Dolemite is My Name (Eddie Murphy).

Netflix offers three plans — on 1 device in SD with their “Basic” ($8,99) plan, on 2 devices in HD with their “Standard” ($13,99) plan, and 4 devices in up to 4K on their “Premium” ($17,99) plan.

Netflix spends more money on content than any other streaming service meaning that you get more value for the monthly fee.

The nine-dash line has caused controversy in the past, including with the DreamWorks film “Abominable,” which also included a map with the nine-dash line. The film was banned in Vietnam after producers refused to cut the map scene. ESPN also generated controversy by showing a map with the nine-line dash during a game between the NBA and China.

This is just another example of the tightrope walk most media entities make when producing content with multiple markets in mind. China provides a massive opportunity for American media and advertising ventures to make considerable amounts of money, and companies often go out of their way to appease China for this reason.

Recently, John Cena apologized to his Chinese fans in a video on the Chinese social media app Weibo for saying Taiwan is a country in an interview promoting “F9,” rather than a territory under the rule of China. Cena’s about-face no doubt was facilitated by the desire for “F9” to succeed in China, especially as American theaters continue to slowly open up after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Large-scale American film companies bank on American and Chinese ticket sales as their primary revenue generators, so to lose China would be a huge pitfall for the “Fast” franchise. Luckily for parties involved with the “Fast and the Furious” franchise, Cena’s “gaffe” (if you could call it that) likely won’t have any effect on Chinese fans’ desire to see “F9.”

A todo gas - Colección

Películas de acción donde el origen es dar caza a unos corredores ilegales que cometen robos. La historia avanza y las tornas cambian y forman un equipo para ayudar al FBI, pero… ¿seguirán así por mucho tiempo?

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