Netflix goes global, reaches most countries except China

Wed Jan 6, 2016 6:26pm EST
 
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By Lehar Maan and Anya George Tharakan

(Reuters) - Netflix Inc's video-streaming service went live in more than 130 countries on Wednesday, covering almost the entire globe except China, in a huge global push by Chief Executive Reed Hastings to counter slowing growth in the United States.

Shares of the company, whose popular shows include "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt", "Daredevil" and "Narcos", jumped 9.3 percent to close at $117.68.

India, Nigeria, Russia and Saudi Arabia were among the major countries where the service was launched, Hastings said at a speech at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

"(This is) much sooner and much more ambitious than expected," Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter said.

Netflix, which had expanded into more than 60 countries before Wednesday's launch, previously said it aimed to reach 200 countries by the end of 2016.

However, all shows will not be available immediately to some Netflix fans.

"We're moving as quickly as we can to have global availability of all the content on Netflix," Hastings said at a press conference after his speech.

U.S. government restrictions on American companies mean Netflix will not be available in Crimea, North Korea and Syria.   Continued...

 
Reed Hastings, co-founder and CEO of Netflix, speaks during a keynote address at the 2016 CES trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada January 6, 2016.  REUTERS/Steve Marcus