While Netflix has been consistently barred from launching its popular video streaming service in mainland China, the company finally seems to have found a way in… sorta.
The world’s largest paid video service has agreed to provide television series and the like to Beijing-based iQiyi, a subsidiary of Baidu that is one of China’s largest video streaming services. According to Bloomberg, iQiyi said that the deal will include television dramas, animated series, documentaries and variety shows, meaning that the latest seasons of “Black Mirror” and “Stranger Things” could soon be streamed simultaneously on the site.
Though this deal doesn’t give Netflix as broad access to the Chinese market as it would like, the company seems satisfied to take what it can get. Last January, Netflix rolled out its services virtually everywhere in the world — including Hong Kong and Taiwan — but not mainland China. Later in the year, a letter issued to shareholders shed light on the company’s innovative new business strategy when it comes to China:
The regulatory environment for foreign digital content services in China has become challenging. We now plan to license content to existing online service providers in China rather than operate our own service in China in the near term. We expect revenue from this licensing will be modest. We still have a long term desire to serve the Chinese people directly, and hope to launch our service in China eventually.
While the company may have suspected that income would be modest, Netflix shares jumped to a record high on Tuesday after the iQiyi deal was first reported.
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