Netflix has removed the Australian spy drama “Pine Gap” from its service in Vietnam after the country’s broadcasting authority in Southeast Asia complained about the appearance of maps with Chinese claims in the South China Sea.
The map, which appears briefly on the spy base’s screen in two episodes of the six-part show, shows the “nine lines” unilaterally declared by China and displayed in the context of maritime claims in the region.
“Netflix’s violation has disappointed and hurt the feelings of all Vietnamese people,” the Electronic Information and Broadcasting Agency said in a statement.
“The Netflix has released films and TV series with content that breaches the sovereignty of Vietinam for the third time in a row in the past 12 months,” the statement of July 1 stated.
The Nine-Dash Line is a U-shaped feature used on maps of China to illustrate its controversial claims to vast expanses of the resource-rich South China Sea, including much of what Vietnam calls its continental shelf, to which Vietnam has granted oil concessions.
In recent years, Chinese and Vietnamese vessels have been involved in controversial waters for months.
Netflix has confirmed that they are removing the show in Vietnam but said it will remain available for the service worldwide.
“Due to a written legal request from Vietnamese regulators, we have removed the Pine Gap series licensed from Netflix in Vietnam to comply with local laws,” a Netflix spokesperson said.
In October 2019, Vietnam pulled the DreamWorks animated film “Disgusting” from theaters on stage containing a similar card with “nine dotted lines”.
The Vietnamese broadcaster said two other shows that it said had trouble with Netflix were “Put Your Head on My Shoulder,” a 2019 Chinese rom-com, and the US political drama “Mrs. Secretary.”