China Internet stocks traded in the U.S. plunged overnight after Beijing authorities stepped up censorship of the country’s already controlled media landscape.
China’s top media authority has ordered the removal of four U.S. shows from domestic websites, the government-run China Daily reported on Monday. The four are “The Good Wife,” “NCIS,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “The Practice.” It didn’t give a reason for the decision.
The move to block the U.S. programs follows reports last week that China’s government also wants domestic media to halt the use of foreign words.
The selective move against U.S. programs also follows an American defense agreement in recent days with the Philippines that brings U.S. troops closer to a South China Sea region where China asserts sovereignty. The pact was criticized by China.
Sohu, which will have to take down “The Big Bang Theory,” plunged 6.7%. Sohu shares also fell on disappointment with the company’s latest financial results.
China, whose market-driven economy is led by the Chinese Communist Party, already blocks access to the New York Times, YouTube and other popular websites around the world, and censors discussion on the country’s Twitter-like Weibo. China has been trying to increase exports of its own cultural products in recent years.