Magazine article Screen International

Could Wanda Partner with Netflix in China?

Magazine article Screen International

Could Wanda Partner with Netflix in China?

Article excerpt

At a UK-China industry forum in London yesterday, Wanda Cultural Industry Group vice president Ning Ye told industry that the US streaming giant would face "fierce competition" if it were to enter China but that a partnership wasn't out of the question.

"Netflix will face fierce and powerful competitors in China, such as Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent," admitted Ye of Wanda, China's largest property company and the world's largest cinema chain operator, which earlier this year launched an $800m e-commerce JV with local internet giants Tencent and Baidu in a bid to rival local e-commerce kingpin Alibaba.

"Existing Chinese platforms already have very powerful networks and infrastructure," explained Ye, who added that "local culture always dominates the local internet market."

China remains Netflix's toughest major market to crack, and the company, which had ambitions to be worldwide in 2016, could look to a partnership with a local player as its best route into the heavily regulated potential goldmine.

"I discussed with Netflix last year about their plan to enter China," said Ye. …

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