China: House of Cards defies the censors

Kevin Spacey leads the cast of House of Cards Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Kevin Spacey leads the current cast of House of Cards

Chinese viewers say they are surprised that the popular American political drama House of Cards hasn't been censored by the authorities, it's been reported.

The show's second series is available on Sohu, a Chinese web portal, even though major plot-lines involve sensitive US-China relations, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reports.

Some web users suspect the programme has been let through because of its influential fans - it was reported last year that top anti-corruption official Wang Qishan is an avid House of Cards viewer. But other viewers are worried the programme will eventually be "harmonised", a common euphemism for being censored.

"How dare American imperialist playwrights write this way? Doesn't Sohu fear the drama would be harmonized?" one user of the Weibo micro-blogging site says. Meanwhile, user Zork-c urges his followers to watch the show quickly. "There's quite a bit of satire on China in Season 2. I think it will be harmonized sooner or later."

House of Cards is a new version of a series by the same name originally screened by the BBC in 1990, based on the novel by Michael Dobbs.

Image caption Ian Richardson's depiction of Francis Urquhart was famous for the phrase "I couldn't possibly comment"

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