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Netflix Is Having a Hard Time Expanding to China

September 20, 2016

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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings delivers a keynote address at CES 2016 in Las Vegas on Jan. 6.Photograph by Ethan Miller—Getty Images

Netflix (NFLX) has made no progress in its plan to enter the potentially lucrative Chinese market as it needs to obtain a government license, its chief executive officer Reed Hastings said on Tuesday.

The video streaming service is seeking to grow its subscriber base abroad to counter slowing growth in its home market of the U.S.

The producer of popular TV series such as Narcos and House of Cards has recently entered countries such as Turkey and Poland, but remains absent in the world’s most populous country.


Content providers in China face stringent regulations and censorship challenges.

Asked whether Netflix had made any progress in entering China, Hastings told reporters: “No … we are continuing to work on it. Same (problem) it has always been—government permissions, we got to get a specific license in China.”

Hastings said he could not give a specific timeframe for Chinese market entry.