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Report: Netflix to partner with China’s Wanda Group

NetFlixNetflix is set to team up with Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group for its planned launch in the country, according to local reports.

The Want China Times, the English news website of Taiwan-based China Times News Group, reported that Wanda Group had been discussing details of a Netflix partnership last month.

Citing a separate report China’s 21st Century Business Herald, Want China Times added that a Netflix partnership would help compliment Wanda’s existing media portfolio, which includes film production, cinemas and distribution assets.

According to the report, Netflix had earlier approached Wasu Digital TV Media Group, BesTV and other potential partners.

Chinese internet giant Alibaba was also reported to have held discussions with Netflix, however the firm announced in June that it would launch its own streaming service, Tmall Box Office, or TBO, in a bid to “redefine home entertainment” in China.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said in July that he hopes a version of the SVOD service will launch in China next year. However, he cautioned that this would be a “modest investment.”

Asked during Netflix’s earnings call last week to give a China update, Hastings said “we’re still learning a lot” and that “we’re still in early stages” without giving specific details of its launch plans.

Last month Netflix made its Asian debut by launching in Japan. It has also confirmed that it will launch in South Korea, Singapore,Hong Kong and Taiwan in early 2016.

Wanda Group was founded in 1988 and operates in four key areas: commercial properties; culture and tourism; e-commerce and department stores. 

The company now operates 123 Wanda Plazas, 78 hotels (including 68 five-star hotels), 6,600 cinema screens and 99 department stores nationwide. Its e-commerce assets include two businesses: Wanda E-commerce and 99bill.