Sunday, May 19, 2024

Chinese C-drama gaining popularity on Indian OTT platforms

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Away from the public glare, Chinese TV dramas/ web series (C-Drama) are becoming popular in India and being made available through various OTT platforms like MX Player, Amazon Mini, YouTube, and several Indian regional OTTs.
The translated version of C-Dramas in various Indian regional languages has been gaining popularity among the younger audience since the Covid, ET has reliably learnt. It is often difficult for Indian audiences to distinguish and differentiate between Korean and C-Dramas due to language barriers, experts on the subject explained.

MX player is an Indian video streaming platform, which also has foreign TV content- Korean and Chinese Dramas in its “MX VDesi” section. Interestingly, most of the YouTube channels which stream C-Drama are located in western countries and the content/ script originated from China. C-Drama YouTube channels are predominantly operating from the United States, Taiwan and Hong Kong, ET has learnt.

C-Drama is receiving easy access to the Indian entertainment market with negligible regulation, experts alleged. This is in stark contrast to the Chinese policy of banning digital platforms like YouTube and restrictions on digital content from foreign countries. There is absence of reciprocity from the Chinese side for Indian content to Chinese viewers.

Chinese dramas are primarily produced for Chinese TV audience and are carefully reviewed by the National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA) of China, which is controlled by the Central Propaganda Department of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Chinese TV series are the outcome of complex cultural governance practices, which are influenced by diffuse political interests, commercial considerations, viewing habits, and ideological assumptions, according to experts on Chinese society. In recent years, the Chinese government has vigorously supported the export of cultural projects. As the carrier of cultural output, television dramas carry important cultural messages.C-Dramas could showcase Tibet as “Xizang” and depiction of India-China border in line with CCP official narratives, as well as Beijing’s activities in the ecologically fragile region as “development” activities, and may create divided opinions among the residents of the Himalayan region.

India had more than 700 million active internet users in December 2022 and there were more than 450 million smartphone users and video viewing being the top online activities. Indian OTT market is to be around INR 30,000 crore by 2030, according to estimates.

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