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Netflix to go it alone in China

Netflix is likely to enter the Chinese market without a local partner and expects to export locally produced series worldwide once it has launched in the territory.

Ted Sarandos

Ted Sarandos

Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos told reporters this week that the US streamer was considering entry into China following its launch in Japan, its first official move into Asia.

“It’s unlikely that we would definitely pursue (a local partner model) as a strategy,” he said. “These ventures become very complex and very difficult to manage, and ultimately it’s difficult to be successful.”

With no operating partner, Netflix would need to obtain operating licences on its own, which would likely cause a delay in establishing a presence in China.

Sarandos said the firm would need around eight different licences to launch in the country, adding that business there was “subject to a censorship and regulatory environment that we haven’t had to deal with.”

His comments come as China’s regulators are imposing new licensing and quota restrictions on foreign players.

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