Netflix Looks to China for Expansion, Calls Plans Modest
Netflix currently offers its subscription video-on-demand service in over 50 countries. If the company has its way, it will soon add China, one of the world's biggest markets, to that list—although it calls its plans modest.
Bloomberg reported on Friday that Netflix is holding early talks with media companies in China about an expansion. Companies involved include Wasu Media Holding and BesTV New Media. Netflix executives have also spoken to other companies about obtaining the needed licenses. To operate in China, Netflix will need to work with a local partner. Wasu is one of the seven companies licensed to broadcast TV online in China.
China's online video market is valued at $5.9 billion.
In its coverage, The New York Times detailed some of the unique problems Netflix would face in China: It would need to censor the content it offers, and it doesn't hold Chinese distribution rights for some popular video, including its own original series House of Cards.
Speaking about Chinese expansion in January, Reed Hastings, Netflix's CEO, said, "If we go, it will be a modest investment." That's party because the service won't have as much content to offer subscribers.
In February of this year, Netflix announced that it will expand into Japan in the fall, marking its debut in Asia. To prepare for the move, Netflix opened a regional office in Tokyo.
Netflix plans to operate in 200 countries by the end of 2016.
Western publishers that want to stream video to audiences in China need to overcome unique hurdles that are more political than technical.
06 Nov 2017
Ever heard of the Audio Video Standard (AVS)? What about China Blue High-Definition (CBHD)? China's homegrown standards keep Western companies at bay.
05 Dec 2016
Eastern powerhouse Alibaba has reached America's shores. Here's what the industry needs to know about Amazon's fiercest competitor.
30 Sep 2016
When viewers think of Hulu they think of TV shows, but at least they know about it. They don't think about Amazon Prime at all.
25 Jun 2015
A homepage link now lets visually impaired subscribers discover TV shows and movies that have an audio narration track.
17 Jun 2015
In the best hotel news since the end of the minibar, Netflix subscribers will be able to access their accounts when staying at Marriott properties.
11 Jun 2015
The company will open an office in Tokyo to build relationships with consumer electronics companies and local filmmakers.
05 Feb 2015
Subscribers using second-generation DVRs got the option automatically. Support for additional clients is coming.
18 Dec 2014
International markets are still a small percentage of Netflix's total output, but that's sure to change in the coming years.
25 Sep 2014
Original video is helping the SVOD service stand apart, and international expansion is driving customer growth.
22 Jul 2014
To improve streaming performance to subscribers Netflix signs an agreement with Verizon, but says it shouldn't have to.
30 Apr 2014