HANOI: A Vietnamese website, which only works when users correctly answer a quiz about disputed islands in the South China Sea, has infuriated scores of television fans in China desperate to catch the latest episode of a popular Chinese period drama.
The drama – “The Story of Yanxi Palace” – has attracted a huge following in China for its colourful depiction of Qing Dynasty-era politics and the tale of a brave and plucky young concubine who outsmarts her rivals.
The first 56 episodes of the show are being aired for free on Chinese video streaming platform iQiyi, which holds exclusive rights to the drama. For a fee, iQiyi members can watch eight more episodes.
But a Vietnamese website somehow obtained extra episodes which have not yet been broadcast in China.
Chinese drama fans flocked to bomtan.org, which hosts online copies of Asian television dramas, only to be met with a challenge which pits patriotism against the insatiable urge to binge watch television.
The website, which did not appear to have rights to broadcast the drama, asks users to answer questions confirming their Vietnamese identity before the website loads.