The streaming video company was planning to to be every country on earth
Streaming video service Netflix has fallen short of its ambitious aim to be in every country after failing to secure the Chinese market.
The company issued a report on Monday acknowledging that their expansion plans had come up short. “The regulatory environment for foreign digital content services in China has become challenging,” Netflix said in a letter to shareholders.
Netflix now plans to license content to local companies in China, from which it expects only a modest revenue from the licensing business, instead of rolling out its own service to the Chinese market of 1.4 billion people.
Content is heavily censored by Beijing. As a result, western media and tech companies such as Google and Facebook have not cracked the Chinese market. Both Google and Facebook are blocked.
Netflix made its debut in Asia last September, with Japan being its inaugural Asian country. CEO Reed Hastings said at the time that the company was working towards being in every country in Asia in 2016 including China. The company’s ambitions then grew to include the entire world.
The streaming service launched in 130 more countries in January 2016 sporting the hashtag #netflixeverywhere. North Korea and Syria are off-limits.
“In China we need government permission, and it takes a long time. We have to work with the government, develop relationships with them and the partners — so it’s a normal process,” Hastings said in January.