Mubi Cancels Its Plans to Launch Service in China

Published By : 20 Jun 2016 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

The London-based MUBI that offers subscription-based video-on demand streaming services has cancelled its plans to launch a local version of its streaming services in China. In partnership with Huanxi Media, a local media production company in China, MUBI was expected to enter into the Chinese market. As part of the joint venture, Huanxi Media was supposed to invest about US$50 mn in the global services of MUBI and MUBI China. According to the reports at the Hong Kong stock exchange, the agreement has been scrapped off. Huanxi Media has not provided any reason for the termination of the deal. 

Censorship by Government might be Reason behind Cancellation of the Deal

Though MUBI has been an alternative to Netflix, the global provider of streaming television series and films, it differs by offering a selection of 30 films per month and independent productions. While there has been no direct suggestion to point out censorship-related issues regarding the cancellation of this deal, the recent incidences in the field of online content in China speak otherwise. In April this year, Apple’s iBooks and iTunes stores were closed down in the country, merely after six months of their launch. Similarly, DisneyLife, Disney’s video streaming service was also closed. It is surprising to note that though DisneyLife was launched in partnership with Alibaba, yet it was axed. 

According to Efe Cakarel, the founder and CEO of MUBI, the company has agreed to terminate the present Framework Agreement with Huanxi. However, both the parties are still discussing about future opportunities. It is interesting to observe that Netflix has not yet rolled out its services in China owing to the uncertainties regarding censorship and the presence of highly successful domestic video services in China. This January, the U.S.-based Netflix launched its services across 130 new countries. However, China and two other countries have been in its list across the globe. 

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