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Netflix clinches deal with China’s iQiyi
Netflix Inc, the US streaming giant, is set to enter China’s huge but highly controlled market, after it signed a licensing agreement with Chinese online video platform iQiyi yesterday.
On Tuesday, Netflix said it has reached an agreement with iQiyi, which is a privately owned streaming service provider backed by Chinese Internet search giant Baidu. Robert Roy, Netflix’s vice president of content acquisition, was quoted by Hollywood Reporter as saying that the China market is both important and challenging.
Netflix declined to share additional details of the deal, including which Netflix originals will be hitting the China market and when, but it’s known the partnership would soon make some Netflix originals available via iQiyi at the same time as the rest of the world. Netflix has been tremendously successful in its home market. Last year, the company expanded its signature Internet-based streaming service to 130 new countries.
Video streaming is among the most fiercely contested areas of the Chinese entertainment sector. With the strongest subscriber base, iQiyi currently provides over 30 different types of content—including film, TV series, cartoons, sport and news … and has been pushing to create opportunities for new types of content creation. 
China is known to be one of the most tightly controlled online video markets in the world. In the past, big state-owned broadcasters dominated the market, although recent years have witnessed private new comers like iQiyi rise to prominence due to its more successful business modes and content creation that attract more audiences.
“iQiyi and Netflix are in discussion for a content-related cooperation deal,” the iQiyi spokeswoman said in a statement yesterday, “such a deal would strictly observe management rules governing Internet-based content coming from outside China.”
Netflix achieved some early licensing success in China with House of Cards, which became a viral phenomenon through a deal with local provider Sohu, while it was later pulled from local streaming services by regulators.


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