Title

Zimuzu and media industry in China

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Media Industries

Publication Date

Spring 2017

Volume

4

Issue

1

Publisher

Michigan Publishing

Keywords

China, Community, Distribution, Regulation

Abstract

Zimuzu (字幕組, ZMZ) are Chinese online communities that share subtitled versions of foreign television and movies, often within hours of domestic release. Although unauthorized and unlicensed, the programs are streamed and downloaded on tablets and smartphones, free of charge. ZMZ allow many thousands of Chinese viewers to devour foreign fare (e.g., Prison Break, Desperate Housewives, The Big Bang Theory), sidestepping official channels of circulation. The volunteerism of ZMZ subtitlers is remarkable and distinctive, and it may not be too much to call ZMZ an industry. We propose understanding ZMZ within the spheres of marketization and the regulatory framework of China’s media industry. In scale, organization, and professionalism, ZMZ typify slippage between state regulation and market-driven media consumption.

DOI

10.3998/mij.15031809.0004.102

E-ISSN

23739037

Funding Information

The authors acknowledge support from “Connected Viewing Initiative,” Media Industry Project, Carsey-Wolf Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2017 Michigan Publishing.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Language

English

Recommended Citation

Davis, D. W., & Yeh, E. Y.-y. (2017). Zimuzu and media industry in China. Media Industries, 4(1). doi: 10.3998/mij.15031809.0004.102

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