On Monday, Netflix launched its epic expansion to more than a hundred new countries across the globe, China, however, isn’t one of them. Co-founder Reed Hastings says they’re working on it.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the content-streaming company celebrated making its service available in 130 new places–including but not limited to: India, South Korea, Turkey, Poland, Singapore, Vietnam, Pakistan, Philippines, Indonesia, and — as promised — Hong Kong. “Today you are witnessing the birth of a new global Internet TV network,” announced Hastings.
Regrettably, China remains off-limits for now, as Netflix wrestles presumably with the censoring and domestic content quota necessary to obtain government permission.
Here’s Hastings’ statement on the matter, from the CES press briefing:
While you have been listening to me talk, the Netflix service has gone live in nearly every country in the world except China, where we hope to be in the future… China is obviously a very large country. There are a billion Chinese that we want to give access to Netflix content. In China you need specific permission from the government. We’re continuing to work on that, and we’re very patient.
God speed, Hastings. God speed.
However, it could be argued that Netflix might not enjoy the same level of success in China that it has enjoyed everywhere else, with homegrown corporate giant Alibaba offering up much the same service. In addition, Hastings & co. would have to compete with all those free streaming sites like Youku, which already offer a feast of programming.
For now, China remains in good company with the likes of North Korea and Syria as one of the few Netflix-free nations. But at least Hastings can console himself with the fact that Chinese President Xi Jinping is apparently a fan of one of his original award-winning shows.
By Pinky Latt