We often hear these buzz words about China: censorship, Great Firewall, forbidden contents… Is it so complicated to watch an American movie here?

It is true that only few foreign movies are released in Chinese theaters. This number is increasing every year but it is still under government control. Some of them are forbidden, some others are partially censored (scenes cuts)…

Moreover, TV Channels main programs are almost completely locals (info, sport, series or historical movies). CCTV sometimes broadcasts foreign movies (in English with Chinese subtitles) but those movies are bit old.

It seems complicated to watch latest American blockbusters (Spiderman 3, Thor…). Is it really true?

I got a clear answer to this question: NO! I have 2 ways to access this content:

  • Streaming/downloading through Chinese software

These software may be bit complex to use if the persons are not computers friendly and without Chinese basic knowledge. Several of them are available free of charge for computers and mobile (Baidu Movies, Baofeng, PPTV).

I will come back in details in a future post on this specific topic.

  • DVD Sellers

Numerous DVD shops are opened in all big Chinese cities. They are located nearby the expats and rich people neighborhoods. It is possible to find in these shops any new foreign movie or series few days after diffusion in the States or even before the official availability date in theaters.

Quality can be sometimes bit poor but the low price allows an unlimited consumption. One DVD is sold between 8 and 12 yuans (approximately 1 euro).

It is really easy to access any new contents in China even though rest of the world thinks that China is still leaving in autarky. I think that I knew these shops location less than 2 weeks after landing in Beijing. My DVD collection has constantly increased during my time in Beijing… :)