China’s “Saturday Night Live” steered clear of politics—and still got yanked

Only three episodes into its run, China’s version of Saturday Night Live appears to be no more.

Youku, the video-streaming site that first aired the program June 23, has removed all past episodes from the show’s page—though some short clips can still be viewed. The show was set to air its fourth episode on Saturday (July 14), but it did not get broadcast. On Weibo, China’s Twitter-esque web service, the show sent out a message (link in Chinese) on July 15 that said it “is working hard to become even better and meet your expectations. When you next see Saturday Night Live, you’ll laugh big.”

Alibaba, which owns Youku, didn’t immediately respond to a query on from Quartz on why the show had been removed.

It’s possible that China’s SNL is yet another victim of Beijing’s strict censorship regime, which in the past has led The Big Bang Theory and

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