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Netflix ‘in talks over China launch’

NetflixNetflix is speaking to potential local partners about a launch in China, according to the Bloomberg wire service.

The US-listed streaming service has had discussions with local media firms including Wasu Media about rolling out in China.

Netflix will not comment on the specifics of its international launch plans, but reiterates its previously stated plans to be in most international territories by end-2016.

It has already completed wide ranging roll outs in Europe and Latin America, but not, thus far, in Asia. Market watchers said it would be impossible for Netflix to break into the fast-growing Chinese online video market without a local partner.

As well as negotiating foreign ownership regulations, the US streaming service would also have to ensure its programming line-up was in line with strict local content regulations. It will also face difficulties with online payments, with credit cards not widespread in the country.

In January, Netflix boss Reed Hasting said the company was ‘exploring its options in China’.

“We’ll learn a great deal if we can successfully operate a small service in China,” he said. “That is our preference, for the next few years, if we are able to acquire the necessary permissions.”