Netflix goes global, skips China for now, launches in India with $7.5 per month package

The Netflix logo is shown in this illustration photograph in Encinitas, California October 14, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Netflix Inc’s video-streaming service 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 in the United States.

Shares of the company, whose popular shows include “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”, “Daredevil” and “Narcos”, jumped 9.3 percent to close at $117.68.

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

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

Netflix, which had expanded into more than 60 countries before Wednesday’s launch, previously said it aimed to reach 200 countries by the end of 2016.

Netflix Inc launched operations in India on Wednesday, with plans starting at 500 rupees ($7.50) per month, as the U.S.-based video streaming company pushes ahead with its global expansion plans.

The move confirmed months of speculation on the launch of the service in the second-most populous country in the world.

The company will also offer two other plans priced at 650 rupees and 800 rupees, it announced on its website.

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 his speech.

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

The company is still exploring options for providing its service in China, the world’s most populous country. Asked if Netflix will make it into the Chinese market in 2016, Hastings said in an interview “we hope so, but you never know.”

“With China, you really want to build relationships first, before you get to the practical parts of building a business,” he said. “And so we are doing that now and getting to know people, both in government and in partner companies.”

“We’ll just keep working on the relationships,” he said. “We are very patient. Whether it is 2016, 2017, we’ll just keep working on it.”

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.

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(Reuters)

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.