In addition, the parts of the episode wherein the celebrities BTS, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber appeared were censored from the released episode due to political reasons. As the news has it, allegedly all these celebrities have insulted China in some or another way and the government and authorities in China had held that no content or information related to them will be broadcasted or shown in China. To name one instance, Justin Bieber is banned from performing in China due to his “bad behaviour”, as cited by the Ministry of Culture, China.
Presently, all the video clips relating to “Friends” have been taken down, and there is no content when searching for the key word “friends”.
“The crackdown on infringement of video clips has been intensified, while at the platforms like Bilibili, the content ecology is dominated by user-initiated clips, of which there is no shortage of pirated content,” says Yang Mingming, Partner, Wanhuida Intellectual Property China. “In the long run, this part of the copyright "landmine", becomes a potential threat to Bilibili.”
He adds, “In fact, in early April of this year, more than 70 film and television media companies issued a joint statement on the protection of film and television copyrights, saying that they will take a concentrated and necessary legal action against the editing, cutting, handling and dissemination of the content of film and television works without authorization on Internet. On April 28th, The State Film Bureau announced that the State Film Bureau would work with the National Copyright Administration to strengthen its efforts to crack down on infringement of movie copyrights by short video platforms, self-media and public accounts, and to protect the legitimate rights and interests of movie copyright holders.