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Netflix Eyes China As Fuel For Continued Global Expansion

Bringing its streaming content to China would help Netflix keep up its stated goal of global growth.

By Evan Thomas | May 15, 2015

Netflix is said to be in talks with Chinese media groups about bringing its streaming video to the mainland.

Breaking into that $5.9 billion online video market would do big things for Netflix. Subscription growth in the U.S. is starting to slow down, and if Netflix wants to keep posting billion-dollar quarterly revenues, it needs more eyeballs.

And its entry into China seems to be happening sooner than expected. At a Wednesday investor conference, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said China was on Netflix's radar but not its top priority. (Video via The Wrap)

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"It's not urgent, it's not an on-fire issue, but as we try to be more global, we want to be part of China too," Sarandos said.

Forty eight hours later, China-based media groups tell The Wall Street Journal they're excited at the prospect of aligning with Netflix but note it's not going to be easy. One media exec in Shanghai cited "policy restrictions on foreign online content," which could trip up some of Netflix's offerings — from the sex and violence to the politics and corruption storylines. (Video via Netflix)

"Broadcasting and media in general — very regulated in China. Does that have a bearing on how they choose to execute this strategy?" a Bloomberg reporter asked.

"Exactly. That is why they have to go in with a partner," said Bloomberg's Caroline Hyde.

Sociopolitical censorship hurdles aside, this aligns with Netflix's plans. In its own long-term — or maybe not-so-long-term — plans, it envisions a world where Netflix is a click away, no matter where you are. (Video via Netflix)

"By the end of 2016 we intend to be available pretty much everywhere in world."

So far, so good. Netflix already counts more than 60 million subscribers in more than 40 countries

This video includes images from Getty Images and music by Thomas Prime / CC BY NC SA 3.0.

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