The streaming giant yesterday inked an agreement with Chinese video-streaming service iQiyi, reports The Hollywood Reporter. Owned by Chinese search engine Baidu, iQiyi reported 481 million monthly active users in December 2016.
The deal marks the beginning of Netflix’s entry into one of few remaining markets it doesn’t have a presence in. Netflix’s vice president of content acquisition Robert Roy told the publication the deal will bring the company’s content into China, although a “direct relationship in China” remains “a matter of when and how” that the company is “trying to figure out over time.”
The agreement follows Netflix’s decision last year to temporarily bow out of the Chinese market. It also gives iQiyi an edge in its competition against rivals such as Tencent Video and Alibaba-owned Youku Tudou.
Netflix confirmed to CNET it’s made a licensing deal with iQiyi, but details of the deal, such as the content that will be released and when Netflix will make its content available in China, weren’t disclosed.
Foreign content providers such as Netflix and Amazon have long been barred from China due to stringent laws governing the industry in the country. Instead, companies have been licensing content to existing Chinese streaming services.
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