Thanks to its vast library of TV shows, movies, and specials, Netflix is the undeniable king of streaming video. The company has been expanding its global reach in recent years, but there has been one market that Netflix just hasn't been able to crack: China. Even as dozens of other countries have made deals to give their consumers access to Netflix, a deal simply couldn't be worked out to open the huge Chinese market... until now. A deal has officially been struck that will give consumers in China access to a number of Netflix originals.
A licensing deal has been struck between Netflix and local Chinese portal company iQiyi that will allow originals to be streamed in China. The entire Netflix library apparently won't become immediately available; only some of the originals are set to debut in China. Netflix has not specified just yet which originals will and will not be part of the deal. There are certainly plenty of originals currently available, and even more will be released in the coming months.
Interestingly, House of Cards was temporarily available in China back in 2014, and it was very popular until it was taken down for regulatory reasons. If House of Cards is one of the originals involved in the deal between Netflix and iQiyi, consumers in China will be able to catch up on what they've missed over the past couple of seasons.
The deal between Netflix and iQiyi comes after iQiyi raised $1.53 billion to build the streaming platform that will distribute the Netflix content. Netflix is planning on spending $6 billion on originals in 2017, and we just learned that the company is looking to borrow more than $1.2 billion to acquire different forms of programming and for "strategic transactions." The stakes are clearly quite high for both iQiyi and Netflix; we can only hope that the deal works well for everybody involved.
Netflix hasn't had the smoothest of sailing in 2017 so far, despite the premieres of some pretty stellar (and one not-so-stellar) originals. The streaming service fell short of the subscriber growth estimate calculated for the first quarter of 2017, and stock prices fell. Luckily for Netflix, The Wrap reports that the news about the expansion into the China market has sent stock prices back up again. Consumers all over the world in more than 190 countries have been able to enjoy at least some of what Netflix has to offer; only time will tell if expanding into China will be as lucrative as both Netflix and iQiyi certainly hope.
Take a look at our 2017 Netflix premiere schedule to see all your streaming choices, and don't forget to check out our midseason TV premiere guide and our summer TV premiere schedule to discover all your viewing options now and in the coming weeks. Be sure to drop by our rundowns for cable/streaming and broadcast TV renewals and cancellations.