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Sohu Signs Deal to Bring 'Saturday Night Live' to China

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Chinese website Inc is reportedly working with "Saturday Night Live" executive producer Lorne Michael’s Broadway Video to bring a Chinese version of the storied late night show to China’s exploding internet content market.

The deal is an attempt to tap into the massive pool of Chinese internet users. China has over 400 million online content viewers, and nearly 600 million internet users., a web portal that provides content and search, also recently established a similar deal with BBC to provide on-demand streaming content of various BBC programs. Unlike the BBC deal, however, the deal with Broadway Video would see a full-fledged, original program in the "Saturday Night Live" format, complete with Chinese comedians and musical acts.

The fight for Chinese clicks has heated up recently, with content being a key weapon. Internet companies such as Baidu and Tencent have also ramped up video as part of their strategies.

As the Chinese internet market has matured, the Chinese government has sought to find balance between providing content and clamping down on dissent.

Wang Sixin, a Beijing-based professor at the Communication University of China recently told Bloomberg, “What Sohu needs to be careful about, though, is finding the right balance when doing satire about social and political issues.”