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Netflix stock lifts on China rumors

May 15, 2015

Netflix shares surged Friday after news reports that the streaming television giant was in talks to begin operations in China.

In midday trade, Netflix shares were up 4.7 percent at $614.31, which translates to a market value in excess of $35 billion.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Netflix was in the early stages of talks with the Chinese government to bring its on-demand service to the Asian giant.

“We have said we intend to be as global as possible by the end of 2016. Beyond that, we don’t comment on rumor or speculation,” Netflix spokesman Jonathan Friedland told AFP.

The Journal said that Netflix was also in discussions with potential Chinese partners, among them Wasu Media Holding, whose investors include Alibaba chief Jack Ma.

Netflix, which has added original programs such as “House of Cards” and “Marco Polo” to its offerings, said last month its global membership had topped 60 million.

The on-demand streaming service added a record 4.9 million new members globally during the first three months of this year.

It has operations in some 50 countries and expects to eventually be available in 200 markets.


Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.