Netflix reaches 190 countries, including Hong Kong, but not mainland China

Hong Kong is now among 190 countries and territories that can enjoy the services of streaming giant Netflix – but China’s still not tuned in (shocker).

Reed Hastings, cofounder and chief executive of the California-based corporation, said yesterday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that the company’s TV Internet service reaches 190 countries and 130 markets.

Until yesterday, Netflix was only available in 60 countries.

“Today you are witnessing the birth of a new global Internet TV network,” Hastings said. “While you have been listening to me talk, the Netflix service has gone live in nearly every country in the world except China, where we hope to be in the future.”

Noting that Netflix will need special permission from the Chinese government to stream its services on the mainland, where the internet is heavily censored, the cofounder added that he expects the process is “going to take time”.

Netflix came from humble beginnings, starting life as a mail-order DVD service back in 2007, when DVDs were still a thing. Now, the streaming pioneer attracts 70 million paying subscribers with its award-winning original content, including “Orange is the New Black” and “House of Cards”, as well as its impressive bank of films and shows.

In addition to China, North Korea, Crimea and Syria do not enjoy Netflix’s services due to certain restrictions the US government imposes on American companies. Different countries also get slightly different catalogues due to licensing restrictions.

However, Netflix really is the big cheese in the streaming world, coming ahead of copy-cat rivals Amazon and Hulu with yesterday’s announcement.

The company has big plans up its sleeve for this year, including the release 31 new and returning original series, two dozen original feature films and documentaries, 30 original children’s programs and its own stand-up comedy features.

A monthly subscription to Netflix will set Hongkongers back HKD63-93.


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