01/22/15 5:07:58 AM
Netflix is looking to China as part of their global strategy, but regulations and censorship aren’t the only hurdles to breaking into the world’s largest Internet market. Jane Lanhee Lee reports.
Looking for drama in China – Netflix wants to make a play for the world’s biggest Internet market
All part of its plan to stream into 200 countries in two years – four times the reach of today.
Netflix stocks soared on Wednesday in U.S. trading thanks to a jump in subscription numbers and it wants to push the boundaries.
But this is Communist China and here the censors rule.
Google, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter among the social media sites that are blocked.
Films and TV shows often yanked or cut.
Netflix surely knows, its latest drama “Marco Polo” hasn’t made it to China yet, except for downloads from illegal sites.
The media giant does have a presence here.
“House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black” have both been released through official Chinese online video sites, in some cases in sync with the U.S. release.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS REPORTER, JANE LANHEE LEE, SAYING:
“But even if Netflix gets around the censorship issue, making money won’t be easy. For one, the online video companies here have deep pockets and the competition is fierce. And most of them rely on ad revenue rather than subscriptions so viewers here are used to getting free TV.”
And even when it comes to content, Netflix U.S. hits can’t compete with Chinese or Korean creations.
South Korean romantic comedy “My Love from the Star” had a whopping 181 million average views per episode.
“House of Cards” latest season, only 8.2 million.
So there are likely a few plot twists ahead as the U.S. video streaming giant makes its move into censored territory.
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