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Man vs Wild vs Chinese netizens: Discovery Channel partners with Bilibili

Another move by China’s biggest anime streaming site in a bid to legitimize itself

This article originally appeared on ABACUS

China’s biggest anime streaming site Bilibili is partnering with the Discovery Channel, saying they will bring 145 documentaries to a Chinese audience.

Bilibili, China’s biggest anime site, covers the screen in user comments

That means that quick-witted (and sometimes flat-out toxic) netizens will be able to troll shows like Man vs Wild  with bullet comments -- the brutal one-line comments contributed by viewers that float directly above the footage you’re watching, screaming for attention.
(Just imagine all the vitriol internet trolls would spill as they bash that poor little  meerkat in  Planet Earth who was slow to pop his head up.)
These bullet comments are mostly remarks on how incredible the cat mommy was able to give birth to so many kitties. (Picture: Bilibili/Goldthread)

Bilibili said its site will soon feature a dedicated Discovery Channel page. It will host more than 200 hours of exclusive contents from Discovery.

Bilibili's COO Li Ni said, “Documentaries have become an important component in Bilibili’s ecosystem. Users are increasingly demanding quality documentaries.”
Bilibili is trying to revamp its image and turn into a legitimate content provider. It used to be a scrappy little place for millennials to watch Japanese anime… mostly unlicensed and illegal. But now it’s grabbing official rights to lots of big-name anime and encouraging live-streaming.
Why the pivot? The site has increasingly been under fire from the Chinese government for everything from unlicensed shows to  borderline pornographic content. In July, its  app was even taken down by the government amid a content “clean-up”.

China’s anti-porn office cracks down on videos of women whispering into microphones

For more insights into China tech, sign up for our tech newsletters, subscribe to our Inside China Tech podcast, and download the comprehensive 2019 China Internet Report. Also roam China Tech City, an award-winning interactive digital map at our sister site Abacus.