- I just recently signed up to stream movies
online from Netflix but in order to watch the Netflix movies, here in
China, I have to us a VPN (virtual proxy network). My VPN connects my
computer to a server in the U.S. which enables me to surf the web as if I
were in America. I also like to download movies for my students here in
Suzhou, China, by using my trusted VPN.
- I learned quickly from speaking with my students that they are huge fans of American films and television programs from the U.S.
- There are many Chinese here excited about the fact that Netflix
has its eyes on China. The company sees a huge profit potential in Asia
due to a huge demand for online American films.
- Netflix in recent years has been experiencing a slowdown of
subscriber growth in the U.S. The firm has announced that they are
aggressively intending to expand globally. The company is currently in
talks with Chinese online broadcasting firms, the executives of the
involved Chinese parties are hoping to work out a deal.
- There is a lot to be worked out though and the negotiations are
in its early stages. The deal will most likely face various
complications with the Chinese censors. There will most likely be
programming content that China feels objectionable for China’s
- There are many broadcasting companies based in China that would
love to partner up with Netflix. They understand the global influence
of the American media. However, China has raised concerns over foreign
online content. The country has also placed many obstacles and policy
restrictions on foreign content, especially, from America.
- China has close to 600 million internet users which Netflix
would like to tap into. For instance "House of Cards," a Netflix
original top-billed by Kevin Spacey, is already famous in China, with
avid viewers including the country's powerful anti-corruption
ambassador, Wang Qishan.
- The series' first two seasons have gathered positive and
overwhelming viewership results in the Chinese video streaming site
operated by Sohu.com, Inc. However, the show's third season has not been
aired on the portal yet after new Chinese restrictions were issued. It
has been said that the series was placed on China’s chopping block due
to China’s over the top censorship of American programming.
- I haven’t watched the series “House of Cards” but millions in
China can’t get enough of the series. Many fans have illegally
downloaded the third season, making China the top pirated video
downloader of the recent "House of Cards" episodes.
- The fact that China is placing so many restrictions on what can
and cannot be viewed in its country only reveals the major differences
between our two countries. The American broadcasting companies have to
deal with censors but nothing to the extent of restrictions you find in
- Like I mentioned before my students here in Suzhou, China also
enjoy watching American films. But, like me many of them have to use
VPN’s which are illegal in China.
- I think the fact that VPN’s are being used illegally here for
the simple enjoyment of watching American movies online - is a
reflection of China’s irrational fear of America’s influence on the
- I do hope Netflix is allowed to stream its content in China but
I feel they are in for a huge disappointment. I say this because in the
end China’s restrictions on American programming will become Netflix’s
greatest obstacle and perhaps its greatest disappointment for China’s
- Always with love from Suzhou, China
Thomas F O’Neill
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- China Cell: 011-86-15114565945
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- Other articles, short stories, and commentaries by Thomas F. O'Neill can be found on his award winning blog, Link: