“Descendants of the Sun,” a South Korean TV drama that’s become a huge hit with audiences from China to Southeast Asia, reportedly altered some of its Chinese-version scenes to please censors in Beijing.

Descendants of the Sun
Scene from Descendants of the Sun

The 16-episode series is about a young army captain in special forces named Yoo Si-jin (played by Song Joong-ki) and a young female doctor, Kang Mo-yeon (played by Song Hye-kyo). Yoo is deployed on a peacekeeping mission to a far away and fictional country. Dr. Kang is the leader of a medical team on a humanitarian mission. The story evolves around the two as they cope with their mission and fall in love with each other.

China, which has strict guidelines on broadcasting foreign dramas, required some scenes to be deleted or altered. A fight between South Korean and North Korean soldiers in the first episode, for example, and where Kang treats a Chinese soldier, are not in the Chinese version.

“Some scenes, including a military confrontation between the South and North Korean soldiers, were changed by censorship,” an official at Music & New, a company distributing music from the drama, told the Korea Times.

The drama is the first Korean TV series to be aired simultaneously in Korea and China and was partly produced with investment from a Chinese company. It’s being broadcast on Korea’s KBS2 TV and Chinese online video platform iQiyi.

Meanwhile, China’s public security ministry is warning Chinese audiences that viewing Descendants of the Sun may lead to martial strife and criminal behavior.

The mega-hit series has been watched more than 440 million times by viewers on the Chinese platform.

Related story: Hit S. Korean TV series irks China, pleases Thailand

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