LinkedIn tracking pixel

China’s House of Cards

It seems that “House of Cards,” the political thriller produced by Netflix that has captivated so many in the United States and elsewhere around the world, has also captivated a very large audience in China. The show’s popularity there has been helped along by the Chinese government, which has enjoyed pointing to the deep level of corruption and criminality indulged in by the fictional Frank Underwood, and many other characters on the show, as purported evidence that American democracy is no more high-minded than is China’s single party system – with the clear implication that evil men can, and regularly do, manipulate democratic forms of government, and the further implication that the United States is highly hypocritical – lecturing countries such as China on the importance of democratic freedoms and human rights protections while back home democracy is merely a sham. (And while Chinese censors have restricted access to many other US-based television programs, House of Cards remains prominently available for viewing.)