Netflix now live in almost all countries, skips China | Reuters - Firstpost
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Netflix now live in almost all countries, skips China | Reuters

Updated: Jan 7, 2016 02:30 IST

#Business   #China   #Entertainment   #Technology   #United States  

Netflix Inc's (NFLX.O) video-streaming services went live in more than 130 countries on Wednesday, covering almost the entire globe except China, in a huge global push by Chief Executive Reed Hastings to counter slowing growth at home.

Shares of the company, whose popular shows include "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt", "Daredevil" and "Narcos", rose as much as 8.5 percent to $116.85, their highest one-day gain in more than four months.

India, Nigeria, Russia and Saudi Arabia were among the major countries where the service was launched, Hastings said at a Consumer Electronics Show keynote in Las Vegas.

"(This is) much sooner and much more ambitious than expected," Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter said.

Netflix, whose services were available in more than 60 countries before Wednesday's launch, had previously said it aimed to reach 200 countries by the end of 2016.

However, all shows will not be available immediately to some Netflix fans.

"We're moving as quickly as we can to have global availability of all the content on Netflix," Hastings said at a press conference after the keynote address.

U.S. government restrictions on American companies mean Netflix will not be available in Crimea, North Korea and Syria.

The company said on Wednesday it was exploring options for providing its services in China. The company said in July that plans to enter China in 2016 could be delayed.

However, Netflix on Wednesday added simplified and traditional Chinese to the 17 languages it already supports.

"I think there's been pent-up demand for Netflix outside of the few geographies they were available in previously," Brian Blau, research director at Gartner, told Reuters.

Netflix, which has been spending aggressively to expand globally, has said it planned to "run around break-even through 2016" and then deliver profits.

"They will certainly spend a lot more on content than consensus has modelled," Pachter added.

Netflix's shares were up 7.7 percent at $115.99 in late afternoon trading.

(Additional reporting by Abhirup Roy and Supantha Mukherjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty, Maju Samuel and Sriraj Kalluvila)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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