Entertainment

Netflix finds way past the Great Firewall via licensing deal with China’s iQiyi

By Benjamin Cher | Reporter

April 25, 2017 | 3 min read

Netflix has announced a licensing deal with Beijing-based video service, iQiyi, potentially finding its way into the China market according to a report by The Hollywood Reporter.

This follows its entry into Indonesia via a telco as well as fund raising to pay for new content.

The streaming giant revealed it has reached a content agreement with the Chinese video service, a spin-off of Baidu, at an industry conference in Bali.

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Netflix signs licensing deal with iQiyi

"China is an important market for obvious reasons; it's also a challenging market for obvious reasons," said Robert Roy, Netflix's vice president of content acquisition. "Right now what we will do is look to license content into China. We closed a deal with iQiyi, which is exciting."

"For us, it does a couple of things," he added. "It gets our content distribution into the territory and builds awareness of the Netflix brand and Netflix content."

Protectionism by Chinese regulators has prevented Netflix and Amazon from entering the market, with Netflix chief executive Reed Hasting conceding that a full launch in China is unlikely on an earnings call last year.

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"We'd love to have direct relationship in China and it's just a matter of when and how, and that's something that we're trying to figure out over time," said Roy.

Netflix has achieved some success with a licensing deal in China for House of Cards with Chinese service Sohu, with even the Chinese president Xi Jinping joking about it at a press event. Local regulators later pulled the show.

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