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Netflix in talks to launch streaming platform in China

Video streaming service Netflix might be planning another expansion into the most populated region on the planet, China. In a new report from Bloomberg, the Californian-based service is interested in a partnership with Wasu Media, the holder of TV content for internet-connected devices.

Partnering with Wasu Media would allow Netflix to avoid any copyright kerfuffles with local studios. It would also give the service more validity in the region, where a lot of the TV shows and movies are homegrown.

Netflix will import a vast amount of its content from the US and other regions alongside the localised content. Marco Polo will undoubtedly be a fan favorite, since it is set in Mongolia and references the Chinese dynasties.

Reports say Netflix is already extremely popular in China with 10 million users watching through VPN. Even more torrent Netflix content like House of Cards and other TV shows, due to the inability to watch on Netflix’s own service.

There is worry that Netflix will be too expensive for the Chinese audience, mostly used to freemium content or torrenting. This will be a new move by Netflix to offer a different platform to the competitive, although it may lower prices to remain competitive.

Netflix is seeking approval from the Chinese internet regulators, who have blocked Facebook, YouTube and Google search in the past. It is not clear if they will allow Netflix into the country, considering the regulators seem to venomously oppose US corporations on the web.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said last year he wanted the service to be available in 200 countries by 2016. Hastings also wants a “Netflix Global”, meaning no borders on content show on the service - removing the need to use a VPN.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.