Netflix Launches Worldwide, Except for China

Netflix announced today at CES in Las Vegas that it has launched its service in 130 countries, nearly the whole world, with the exception of China.

In its first couple of years Netflix was limited to a number of regions but in recent years we have seen that number of services grow rapidly. Now the streaming giant has a presence in almost every key market, including India and Russia.

CEO Reed Hastings made the announcement today at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

“With this launch, consumers around the world — from Singapore to St. Petersburg, from San Francisco to Sao Paulo — will be able to enjoy TV shows and movies simultaneously — no more waiting,” said Hastings. “With the help of the Internet, we are putting power in consumers’ hands to watch whenever, wherever and on whatever device.”

The only glaring omission is China, a major market for all tech companies. No explanation has been provided by Netflix as to why it has not yet launched in the country or if it has plans to do so. Western tech companies typically face hurdles. With opening for business in China with Netflix in the field of content, it may come head to head with China’s censorious regime.

There are a couple of other exceptions too, which aren’t exactly surprising. The streaming service “won’t be available in Crimea, North Korea, and Syria due to US government restrictions on American companies.”

Nevertheless, it looks like good news for Netflix as its stock jumped six percent following the news breaking.

It remains unclear just how this vast expansion for Netflix will impact VPN users. Along with security, VPN providers typically promote their products as a means to jump geo-blocks and, for example, access the US version of Netflix in the UK.

With Netflix available in most countries, this promotional tactic may lose some of its effect. However Netflix libraries can still differ wildly region to region. Hugely popular shows like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards are omitted from some Netflix versions.

VPN use is relatively popular in China based off the limited number of stats that we’ve seen and VPNs have been used in the past to access Netflix from behind the Great Firewall.