Video streaming service goes global, reaches most countries except China

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'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.

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.

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Unblock notifications in browser settings.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng

Recommended articles

Aregbesola vows to go after passport racketeers

Aregbesola vows to go after passport racketeers

World Lion Day: WildAid says Nigeria’s lions on verge of extinction

World Lion Day: WildAid says Nigeria’s lions on verge of extinction

Lalong as Campaign DG, perfect soft landing for APC — Northern Christian Group says

Lalong as Campaign DG, perfect soft landing for APC — Northern Christian Group says

Buhari celebrates Akintola Williams at 103

Buhari celebrates Akintola Williams at 103

FG to boost power supply to Ekiti with additional 204MW - Minister

FG to boost power supply to Ekiti with additional 204MW - Minister

NDLEA seizes Cannabis Sativa worth N30m in Nasarawa state

NDLEA seizes Cannabis Sativa worth N30m in Nasarawa state

Bayelsa Gov bars council chairmen from residing outside their LGAs

Bayelsa Gov bars council chairmen from residing outside their LGAs

Muslim-Muslim ticket: Pope 'endorses' my appointment as DG – Lalong

Muslim-Muslim ticket: Pope 'endorses' my appointment as DG – Lalong

DHQ clarifies identities of arrested Owo Church attack suspects

DHQ clarifies identities of arrested Owo Church attack suspects