I miss my junk TV

Note: This blog post also ran in the Society of Professional Journalism’s “Journalism and the World” blog. Click here to see the original post.

Writing about financial technology all day and editing Asia payments stories, when I relax, I want to relax all the day. I want to vegg out in front of the TV and watch re-runs of Friends and the Simpsons. I want to watch The Office. And catch the latest police procedurals.

In China, this is all possible — but not without breaking the law. There are a few movies available legally on DVD, and I buy them when I can — they’re only a few RMB more expensive than the pirated ones, so why not?

But the bulk of what I want to watch is not available here. You’re never going to get me to admit, on the record, to buying pirated DVDs (I swear, I’m only holding them for friends). But not being able to watch TV and movies is for me one of the biggest disadvantages to living in China — right up there with the lack of decent Chinese takeout and bad air.

ImageThief recommends a novel solution to China’s IPR crisis: he things the US government should subsidize the distribution of American media as a cultural kind of Marshall Plan, in a post titled “American IPR hawks, remember the little people.”

I hope someone is reading that.

Signing off in Shanghai,