In a move that will have China-technology watchers shaking their heads in disbelief, American video website Netflix bravely plans to enter the Chinese market independently without cooperating with local companies.
Ted Sarandos, chief content officer of Netflix, also said that the company plans to promote the Chinese-made content to the international market.
Sarandos said that they will probably not cooperate with Chinese local manufacturers, because the model is complicated and hard to manage. So unlike Netflix's deals with Apple TV and Roku in the U.S., Netflix will go solo in China.
If not cooperating with local companies, Netflix will need to apply for various operating licenses on its own, which is also difficult. Commenting on this, Sarandos said Netflix will need eight different kinds of licenses to launch services in China. In addition, Netflix will face government review and supervision. And the company will need to figure out a way to have Chinese customers pay for the services, if Netflix plans to actually make any money in China.
Once successfully entering the Chinese market, Netflix's TV and TV streaming services will face severe challenges from Chinese local competitors such as Alibaba and Tencent. Those companies are making huge investments in promoting original contents and introducing overseas movies and TV series into China.
Currently all Netflix content is blocked to users in China. So even if an American has a Netflix account in the USA and travels briefly to China, Neflix is still totally blocked unless the Netflix customer uses a VPn service like Kovurt.com or others to access the streaming video content.