China – Episodes of the newest season of BBC’s Sherlock has begun airing on China’s video streaming site Youku Tudou just hours after Britain’s BBC airing, making it the first outside of Britain, according to the South China Morning Post.

The officially-subtitled first episode of the show’s third season was made available for free streaming on Youku Tudou. Sherlock, a modern day re-imagining of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s popular Sherlock Holmes character, is a popular favourite amongst the Chinese. 

Youku Tudou ensures the acquirement of licences for overseas television programmes to help meet Chinese demand for high-quality versions of popular shows while combating widespread internet piracy, where bootleg recordings can appear online, hours after originals are broadcast.

Xiangyang, ZHU, Youku Tudou’s chief content executive says,”BBC will directly provide us with official Chinese language subtitles…which is a first for a British drama released over Youku Tudou. After a review process where the site’s internal team confirms that there are no problems with the video or the subtitles, the episode can immediately be released, and the whole process takes about four hours only.”