In China, there is no iQiyi also called Chinese Netflix the most popular streaming platform. Let’s find out how it differs from Netflix.

What happens if you are in China and want to see your favorite tv series? Well, as for Google, facebook, or Instagram, China has its own platforms to fill the gap. In this case, we talk about iQiyi, the Chinese Netflix. Here is the reason.

IQIYI the Netflix of China

Founded in 2010, iQiyi is China’s most popular Netflix-style streaming service. The company has expanded into delivering video via set-top boxes and virtual-reality headsets, and in January 2019, it made a deal to have its video content shown in the Shanghai Metro transit system.

The company is owned by Baidu, China’s biggest search engine company, and iQiyi is a pioneer in using artificial intelligence in its operations, even using it to cast characters (though not stars) in its programs.

How does IQIYI the Chinese Netflix work?

While Netflix only focuses on TV series and movies, IQIYI provides over 30 different types of content that includes not just film and T.V series, but also cartoons, sport, news, gaming etc. in an ecosystem of its own, that is busy creating new channels of content creation.

However, this boom in video content consumption on IQIYI wouldn’t have been possible without the influx of smartphones and improved internet bandwidth with 5G coming in.

Does Netflix exist in China?

Netflix does not exist in China, even though many Westerners manage to tune into the American platform through the help of a VPN. The Chinese, on the other hand, cannot live without IQiyi that monetize its videos through a combination of ad-supported contents and paid subscriptions that go beyond advertising.

In 2017, iQiyi struck a licensing deal with Netflix itself, meaning that it is the only platform in China to be able to offer its customers shows such as Stranger Things and The Crown. In addition to focusing on giving its members premium content, iQiyi is investing heavily in artificial intelligence as it seeks to improve its recommendation systems and user-interface experience through technologies such as natural language processing and pattern and image recognition.

What’s IQIYI business model?

The Chinese Netflix operates on a freemium model that provides ad support and a paid subscription model. Indeed, IQIYI managed to migrate these 250 million freeloaders (those who consume free ad-based content) to 20 million actual paying subscribers.

Paid subscribers can access the best possible viewing experience and instant ad-free access to a wide range of high-quality content. The platform also produces online games launched in 2013, including those related to the world of cinema that is distributed via their mobile apps.

Streaming market in China

Netflix is considered IQIYI’s big brother and knows a lot more about streaming market, but IQIYI is way ahead when it comes to generations Y and Z.

IQIYI plans to expand its presence to the rest of the world, particularly on the poorest continents such as Africa and South America. Who will know how much IQIYI will grow in the coming years? Stay tuned to our blog for updated news regarding the Chinese market.

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