Chinese OTT entering the South-east Asian markets

iQiyi, also known as the ‘Chinese Netflix’, has partnered up with Indonesian media conglomerate Media Nusantara Citra (MNC) to jointly launch and operate an OTT platform in Indonesia. The two companies will amalgamate their content libraries and produce original content for the region.

The Chinese heavyweight will provide technical support to MNC and expand its reaches in the Indonesian market. In addition, iQiyi and MNC will offer a freemium model similar to iFlix, one of the main OTT players in the region.

According to a recent study conducted by Polling Indonesia and Indonesian Internet Providers Association, 64.8% of the total population, which is equivalent to 264 million Indonesians, were connected to the Internet in 2018. The massive 264 million is almost half of the Internet users in the South-east Asian market — making Indonesia a top choice for developing a video streaming industry.

During the APOS Conference in April this year, iQiyi’s president, Yang Xianghua, signalled that the company will not stop at Indonesia and he has plans to expand services to 10 other countries in the South-east Asian region.

The move was seen as a strategy to further strengthen its competition with Tencent Video, an OTT platform backed by Alibaba Group. Earlier this year, Tencent video launched a VoD service in Thailand; the platform also partners with local producers to develop original Thai content.

While Netflix and other local OTT providers air popular shows and even offer localised content, the arrival of the two massive VoD platforms has stepped up the streaming competition in the region.


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