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.
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