CHINA TOPIX

Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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iQiyi Cancels Live Broadcast of Academy Awards in China

iQiyi cancels Academy Awards live broadcast in China

(Photo : Getty Images) iQiyi has cancelled its scheduled live broadcast in China non the eve of the Academy Awards show.

Chinese streaming service provider iQiyi earlier announced that it will be broadcasting the 88th Academy Awards live on Chinese television screens. However, the firm has mysteriously pulled out its coverage.

On the eve of the Academy Awards night in China, the local video streaming provider, which offered the first bilingual synchronous satellite broadcast, has cancelled its plans of covering the awards.

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A representative from iQiyi confirmed the cancellation to The Hollywood Reporter but refused to give any reasons or further comments about the matter. Rumors of the alleged cancellation started circulating on Sunday night on Chinese social networking sites. A hasty search over the iQiyi site revealed no signs that the live Oscar's will be broadcasting.

Movie fans, who do not want to miss Hollywood elites walk down the carpet or grab their prestigious trophies live may tune in to 1905.com, an online video platform of state broadcaster China Central Television's movie channel.

Speculations have surfaced that censorship may have again prevented the Oscar's live broadcast. This was the same reason why CCTV opted not to cover the awards night of the annual Hong Kong Film Awards on April 3 for the first time since 1991. Chinese Internet giant Tencent also pulled out of covering the awards, despite its initial contractual agreement with the Hong Kong Film Awards Association.

CCTV and Tencent chose to pull-out of the awards apparently  because two movies nominated in the ceremony placed China in a bad light. One film, nominated for Best Picture, depicts the future control of the communist nation over Hong Kong.

iQiyi has rose to quickly become a leader of the video industry in the country after it was founded in 2010. It now boasts of over 240 million PC users and more than 270 million mobile users.

Last month, the streaming service provider inked a deal with the 20th Century Fox, a US movie studio, for a multiyear film output agreement. The deal gives iQiyi exclusive rights for subscription streaming and transactional VOD in the country.

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