February 8, 2020

Netflix censorship reveal is another step in chasing China’s market

netflix-censorship-reveal-is-another-step-in-chasing-chinas-market
Credit: Pixabay

In it’s first-ever Environmental Social Governance report, Netflix has revealed nine movies and shows that have been pulled from its service because of government censorship.

The big takeaway is that this report is proof Netflix is willing to censor at a government’s request. It’s another move that puts Netflix a step closer to entering China’s massive market.

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A bigger picture

This report comes at a time when Netflix is looking to expand into new territories and continue its growth. It outlines how the company operates in compliance with local laws, giving full transparency to new markets and future investors.

This is what happens when growth in the United States slows, international pursuits become a priority.

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The movies and shows pulled

  • The Last Hangover (Singapore) – 2020
  • Hasan Minhaj ‚ÄúPatriot Act” standup special (Saudi Arabia) – 2019
  • The Last Temptation of Christ (Singapore) – 2019
  • The Legend of 420 (Singapore) – 2018
  • Cooking on High (Singapore) – 2018
  • Disjointed (Singapore) – 2018
  • Night of the Living Dead (Germany) – 2017
  • Full Metal Jacket (Vietnam) – 2017
  • The Bridge (New Zealand) – 2015

The report highlights that Cooking on High was taken down because cannabis is illegal in Singapore and that in Germany, Night of the Living Dead was banned for youth protection.

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Netflix-censorship-proof-China-pursuit
Bank of China, Credit: WikiCommons

Netflix heading to China

China is the market Netflix wants, and since talking to Wasu Media Holding in 2015, they’ve had a very specific plan.

Invest locally: In 2017, Netflix started investing in South Korean drama, and since then it hasn’t stopped. Netflix have made major deals that span multiple years in the meantime, picking up hundreds of hours of content.

South Korea’s market adds around two to three hundred thousand lower-paying subscribers quarterly. It’s nothing compared to the cost and commitment Netflix has been investing in the region.

This is a statement move by the streaming giant, showcasing how they want to support local talent rather than stifle it. This sentiment is happening in every territory Netflix have entered, adding further value for China letting the streaming giant in.

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No longer a tech firm: Netflix joined the Motion Picture Association of America and left the Internet Association in 2019. China doesn’t want an American tech firm, but they love Hollywood and Disney. All things considered, this was another step towards finding acceptance in China.

Will do as governments say: This Environmental Social Governance report is another step, by showing that the company will comply with local laws and their censorships, China has no reason not to let Netflix in.

When Netflix does make it into China, Disney will have a major concern. The company relies on the Chinese market for a majority of its international box office revenue. The big question is, what will Netflix do next after showing censorship isn’t a concern for China’s government?

Honestly, we don’t think there is anything left to prove and predict Netflix will be in China by 2021.

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