Tencent Teams Up with HBO to Bring Hit Shows to China

Tencent, one of China’s largest tech companies, has teamed up with HBO to bring popular television shows such as Game of Thrones, True Detective and The Sopranos to Chinese audiences. As the Chinese government steps up efforts to limit pirated content, more and more Chinese media providers are turning to partnerships with American media producers to show content exclusively on their platforms.

President of Tencent’s Online Media Group SY Lau said, “HBO’s award-winning drama series and movies have built up fantastic viewer enthusiasm in China. Bringing this content to a wide audience in an attractive on-demand format will further differentiate our market-leading online video service.”

For its part, HBO is also excited about the partnership. HBO’s president of programming sales, Charles Schreger said in a statement, “This partnership with Tencent Video ensures that Chinese fans will now be able to enjoy our dramas at the high level of quality they were meant to be experienced.”

However, HBO’s notoriously risque programs will still have to be screened in front of China’s censors. It’s hard to believe that shows like Rome and Boardwalk Empire will make it through unedited.

That said, millions of Chinese viewers enjoy watching American shows and television remains one big way that Chinese audiences connect with American culture.