Renren Video, one of the most popular Chinese streaming platforms offering free subtitled foreign television shows and films, has been removed from Apple’s iOS App store on June 6. Android users are still able to obtain the app on their store, but the “kuaikan” service has been suspended.
Many Chinese netizens have expressed their dissatisfaction with this development on Weibo, worrying that they may not be able to enjoy foreign videos with quality subtitles in the future.
Previously, users could make short videos related to various highlights of movies and TV series within five minutes in the kuaikan, or “quick view” column. If audiences are interested in one of them, they can jump directly to the feature film through a link directly below.
According to an announcement, Renren Video will immediately shelve its kuaikan service, and deal seriously with illegal content and related accounts, in accordance with the law on network information management.
Renren Video, previously known as YYeTs, is a subtitle platform founded by a student in 2003, focused on translating American TV series into Chinese. In 2017, Renren Video became an independent company, with further aims of developing a cultural community by providing overseas films and televisions for Chinese netizens with the high speed translation.
In January this year, Chongqing Radio and Television Group reached strategic cooperation with Renren Video to build an application named “Tomato Movie”.
As one of the fastest-expanding film markets in the world, China offers enormous demand for Western films. Chinese mainstream video platforms, such as Aiqiyi, Youku and Tencent Video cannot easily provide the latest overseas dramas in a timely manner, due to the long period of copyright purchase. This is part of the reason why Renren Video has gained popularity among younger generations. The platform boasts a total of 160 million users with an average of over 40 million active users per month, ifeng reported on June 6.
However, Renren Video has been punished many times for alleged illegal content before. In December 2019, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology unveiled a list of 41 applications that infringed on users’ rights and interests. Renren Video is one of them.
The platform also promised to rectify various problems, such as sharing personal information they collected privately with third parties. In January 2020, Renren Video was forcibly removed from app stores, due to “some technical problems,” it said in an announcement at the time.