The battle to breach the great wall of Chinese protectionism seems to have been breached for Netflix who, after years of trying to gain access to the massive market, has inked a licensing agreement with Baidu-owned streaming platform iQiyi.
According to the Hollywood Reporter:
“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,” Roy added. “It gets our content distribution into the territory and builds awareness of the Netflix brand and Netflix content.”
Netflix declined to share additional details of the deal, including which Netflix originals will be hitting the China market and when. But it’s understood that the service soon will make some Netflix originals available via iQiyi day-and-date with the rest of the world.
Popular Netflix original series House of Cards actually became a viral phenomenon when it was streamed local service Sohu. Chinese president Xi Jinping, apparently a fan, once made a quip about it at a press conference.
The show was later pulled from local streaming services by regulators. Welcome to China.