The Enforcement of Restriction on Historical Chinese Dramas: Brace yourselves, historical C-drama lovers

Brace yourselves, historical C-drama lovers…

The following (non-contemporary, historical) genres of C-dramas and C-movies are restricted (限古令) from broadcasting or webcasting from March to June (and more like indefinitely):

  • Wuxia
  • Fantasy
  • Historical
  • Legend
  • Time-travel
  • Biographical
  • Palace struggle/intrigue

For dramas of above genres, if they haven’t been shown, they would be till the finale. But, after that, they would all be wiped off from all (Chinese) internet platforms. Dramas such as 《独孤皇后 Queen Dugu》,《东宫 Goodbye my Princess》,《招摇 The Legends》,《倚天屠龙记 Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre》,《芈月传 The Legend of Mi Yue》,《延禧攻略 The Story of Yanxi Palace》, and so on. In particular, dramas of historical, period costumes and palace struggle-related genres would all be restricted across the board.

For dramas that are waiting for an on-air or live-stream schedule, either via broadcast or webcast, they would have to undergo another round of audit before approval, and before a new schedule of airing would be given. It is reported that most may not be on-air or on live-stream anytime sooner than two years later.

The most recent dramas that are affected:
《新白娘子传奇 The Legend of White Snake 2019》that was originally reported for premiere on 3.27.19 has now been rescheduled.

《我的波塞冬 My Poseidon》that was originally reported for premiere on 3.24.19 has also been rescheduled.

Also shelved, indefinitely, are:
《帝王业 Monarch Industry》now 《江山故人》Zhang Ziyi’s debut TV drama

《大明皇妃·若传 The Empress of the Ming》Tang Wei and Zhu Yawen

《九州斛珠夫人 (lit.) Novoland: Pearl Eclipse》Yang Mi

《三生三世枕上 Eternal Love: The Pillow Book》Dilraba Dilmurat and Vengo Gao

《狼殿下 The Wolf》Darren Wang Dalu, Sweet Li Qin and Sean Xiao Zhan

《锦衣之下 Under the Power》Allen Ren Jialun and Seven Tan Songyun

《庶女锦兰 (lit.) Commoner Jin Lan》 Hu Ge and Cecelia Liu Shishi

Historically, this is the strictest across the board restriction ever imposed by the CN authorities.

So, for those who are watching The Legend of Hao Lan, or any other historical C-dramas, do complete your watching ASAP, before they are all taken down. While only the Chinese platforms are affected now, one never knows when the hammer will strike other non-Chinese platforms, like Youtube, Viki, etc.

Unfortunately, the unlikely benefactor in this whole scheme of things may end up to be those illegal streaming sites.

Source - Excerpted from:

PS: I was in the midst of preparing this post when the other popped up. Synchronicity?:wink: Anyway, rather than re-typing, I’ll x-ref it here. :slight_smile:


This decision is sad in many ways. One is the fact that Chinese modern dramas on average don’t have as high a quality as the historical/wuxia. Instead of hitting the costume dramas with a sledge hammer, they should have focused their efforts into studying how to significantly improve the modern dramas.


I think they will reconsider. It’s ALSO a matter of money/business :slight_smile:


I’m here for the historical / fantasy dramas. So what does this mean? They will all be removed from viki and other sources or is it only upcoming dramas that will be restricted?

1 Like

Does someone know why they restrict it for dramas, but not for books?
And why do they do it now and not before they shoot?

Transmigrated to Chinese novels, I admit Chinese creators have more freedom in there, which is like a breath of fresh air.

Seriously? The NRTA has set another restriction and doesn’t allow any new historical dramas to be on air or streamed online from May to June. If the reason is their attempt to restrict the percentage of historical dramas, I think this is too much and will really anger the viewers. At this rate, I really wonder, what kind of restriction will be next. :sob:

1 Like

I’m so furious bc the chinese movies and dramas on prime TV (the ones I really like) I have to pay if I want to see them. They can rot but I’m not paying to watch them. This started about a week ago.

Luckily, I already had seen a few without having to pay. I went to check and the ones I saw for ‘‘free’’ (we do pay a monthly fee) are not available unless you pay a $3.99 or $4.99 fee.This people are pushing their luck with all these extra charges bc i am not paying any extra money.


Don’t know why this post (of this topic) was posted. I didn’t do it. Puzzled.

EDIT: Ahhh, it was due to it being transferred from another thread.

Here we are AGAIN. New troubles for Chinese Historical/Costume Dramas lovers. Chinese censorship decided to stop the scheduled dramas on May/June (and, naturally, to avoid to add new ones).
What Viki is going to do during those two months?

I REALLY hope so! T____T

1 Like

They are up to something and that’s how they start. The streaming services are no longer making them available unless we pay unreasonable prices to be able to see them.

And i’m talking about one drama/movie only. So if I want to watch 3 different chinese dramas/movies I have to pay around 12 to 15 dollars more.

Apart from the monthly 12.99 fee i’m already paying. For a couple of years it was only $10. They already sent notice there’s another increase coming. Grrrr…


One word: KOCOWA. If the Koreans can do it, why not the Chinese?
If DF hadn’t toppled, allowing Viki to re-release them here, there wouldn’t be any Kdramas, either.


Wonder if Viki cannot begin to be independent from this:
Looking for new actors in Asian countries from acting schools or from the USA
Producing their dramas within American laws toi avoid other countries restrictions
Own a novel website like Tencent who owns Qidian and Webnovel so they already have script ready and a public and they will ensure the copyrights.go to them…

Or make the fan public create a script, that could be fun.


So far, most of the ones they produced were mostly very, very bad.
Yes, I know, with exceptions. I hope they’ll get better and that there have been good dramas were Viki was co-producer… but do something on their own, they’re definitely not there yet.

They should take this opportunity.
Since there’s no one who can produce this type of dramas because of a Chinese regulation, they should go and show them what they miss.
The public who likes this type of dramas will move eventually to Viki. And there’s a demand for this, so if they have skills or if they have money to buy competent people…

Between working in the USA and working in China, I would pick the USA…

I don’t watch Viki production, I don’t remember watching one? I don’t remember… but seeing reviews… I don’t really know…
what’s the main problem with Viki production exactly since you could have tried them?

Ps: but even if it’s lukewarm or soso for first tries for this type of dramas, if they’re the only ones to do it… people will still try to watch them (at least for the first ep or the determined people will watch it until the end even if it’s not so good).

Their web dramas.
They were so childish, even for web drama standards.

  • the trilogy of The Hand web dramas (one title was Traces of the Hand)
  • Spark.
  • The Miracle UGH
  • The Facetale: Cinderia DOUBLE UGH. As bad as 7 first kisses, and that’s saying something!

Dramas I watched (a bit)
Twelve Nights a lukewarm and irritating “almost love story” which doesn’t lead anywhere, with irrational behavior from the characters which was so infuriating we wanted to kill someone by the end.
Fates and Furies: a makjang concoction with irrational behavior from the characters which I abandoned after a few episodes
Melo Holic I abandoned after four episodes, disgusted.
Rich Man Poor Woman: I think I saw one episode and then I stopped. Conventional, sappy, cliché, old-fashioned, meh overacting.
Welcome to Waikiki 2: Couldn’t even finish the 1st episode. Gross slapstick of the worst kind, people opening their mouths and spilling stuff from inside, exaggerated expressions, rolling of eyes… The actor who helped ruin Mama Fairy was here? If I had known I wouldn’t even have started it.
I picked up a Celebrity on The Street: Watched one episode and a half. If you read my review on its page you’ll know I hated it. One of the most ludicrous, irritating dramas. You feel your brain cells dying one by one with every minute you watch.

Some I didn’t watch:
Love Alert which I didn’t watch because everyone said it was awful.
Coffee, Do Me a Favor I didn’t watch because everyone was angry with the bad writing and they said the main actor sucked (plus it turned out he’s a pervert)
Dramaworld, which I didn’t watch because it didn’t inspire me at all

**Three I liked **
These looked like bona fide k-dramas. That’s why I’m saying they may be improving.:

  • The King Loves. It was well made and Im Siwan’s acting was stellar, but the writers used a cheap trick to troll viewers so nobody was pleased towards the end.
  • Witch’s Love. Not a masterpiece, but sweet, I enjoyed watching it.
  • Where Stars Land. That one I liked a lot. It also got some award I think. SBS Drama of the Year 2018

I’m not sure of something
When they say Viki Originals, does it mean they are the ones to make it? No, they are only the distributors.
I found this on Wikipedia,
about Where Stars Land:
Production company(s): Kim Jong-hak Production, Samhwa Networks
Distributor: SBS, Rakuten Viki (international)
about The King Loves:
Production company(s) U-Story9
Distributor MBC
Here Viki is not even mentioned. Yet on the Viki page it says “A Viki original”.

So, what does “Viki original” even mean?


You sure know how to inspire people to watch them xd you’re so funny each time you talk about dramas, you begin to be sassy xd makes me laugh so hard, I imagine your outraged voice… love it, it’s epic.

Maybe they can get better as you say!
And do they have the choice finally?
Can they grow more if they continue like this or others continue like this in a long-term situation (kocowa, Chinese regulation)?

I think the only way is to do like Netflix: produce your own series. It’s the only way to survive for me seeing how it’s evolving… less content, less licence worldwide, less public? If viki has gone into producing… it’s not to let it dry like sand in a desert.

Other thing we could talk about: the price.
Viki can’t lower their price… for me, it’s even too cheap… giving how much it costs and how much we need that they improve the website, just put a higher price… even $1…

When you see Webnovel that charges readers up to $25 a month to read chapters that they don’t even write but others and ordinary people write… they don’t have an assistance service, no big actors, the costs for having such a website… are like multiple x less than Viki… Finally, the reader pays up to $100 to almost $500 to read a book and they dare put this:

FREE I wonder if we have the same definition of Free… shameless…

So yes, if viki could raise their price a little bit so maybe with the extra money, they could make new productions (better ones, too following Irmar’s perspective on which aspect it was lukewarm)

1 Like

It’s not really surprising they backed off. As if people would accept only slice of Communist China approved life TV shows for the rest of their lives…

The Communist Party needs to pick fights it can win and pissing off hundreds of millions of Chinese who would otherwise support you is bad policy.

Legend of White Snake has an on air date and the episode countdown on Viki, scheduled for April 4th.
And I heard, that the NRTA has no article or comment on their webpage concerning this topic. Could everything be just a rumour?


Viki lost the license for My Poseidon.

1 Like