Netflix will air its first mainland-originated Chinese show Day and Night after acquiring the 32-episode series from Alibaba-owned platform Youku. The move marks the first online series from Youku to be distributed overseas, at least through an above-the-board channel. The detective drama is reported to have more than 4 billion views on Youku since its premiere in August.
Netflix has been gradually adding Asian content to its library following its expansion to 130 countries in 2016; the newly added series will be available in 190 countries to over 109 million subscribers.
Netflix nevertheless remains unavailable in China, like many sites, due to regulatory issues. Earlier in April, the streaming service signed a licensing deal with iQiyi, a Baidu-owned online video service, to air some of its Netflix Orginal productions such as Stranger Things, Black Mirror and BoJack Horseman. House of Cards was briefly available in China through another deal with Sohu before it was taken off the air by regulators.
Day and Night is an original production from Youku, which reported 180% yoy growth in daily average video subscribers inits most recent quarterly report. Alibaba set up its digital media and entertainment unit in October last year in a move to integrate user reach, content generation and commercialisation of its online entertainment businesses.