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China orders 'The Big Bang Theory,' 'The Good Wife,' other US shows off streaming sites

BEIJING — Chinese authorities have ordered video streaming Web sites in the country to stop showing four popular American TV shows, including “The Big Bang Theory” and “The Good Wife,” senior staff from two sites said today.

The move suggests government attention is intensifying on the online streaming industry, which is freer than state television and China’s cinemas to show foreign productions and other content and has stretched the boundaries of what can be seen in the country.

A spokeswoman for a leading online video site, Youku, said it had received notification on Saturday not to show sitcom “The Big Bang Theory,” political and legal drama “The Good Wife,” crime drama “NCIS” and legal drama “The Practice.” The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television didn’t give a reason for its order, said the spokeswoman, who couldn’t be named because of company policy.

Calls to the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television rang unanswered Sunday.

A senior manager at another site, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said it received an order last week to “clean their website.” The order, which was identical to ones sent to other companies, also listed a Chinese slapstick mini-series made by another site, Sohu, as having to be removed.

Sohu did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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