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Netflix is now available in almost 200 countries around the world, but one nation remains elusive: China. But that could soon change.

According to CEO Reed Hastings, Netflix has held meetings with China's regulators in the hope of launching the service there.

"It may be soon that we have a licence in China," Hastings said at the DLD Conference in Munich, Germany.

But a launch is far from imminent.

"It may take several years," he added. "So we're going to be patient."

While it may be a while yet, Hastings sounded optimistic. "We're looking forward to a time, a decade or two decades from now, when the Chinese middle class will want and embrace the kind of content that we have."

He pointed to Apple as an example of how a western company can proposer in China, despite the country's strict regulations. It took Apple six years of negotiations and relationship building before it launched the iPhone there. Apple's handset has been a runaway success in China.

China has plenty of homegrown streaming services, but that hasn't dampened demand for Netflix. According to one study, more than 20 million people in China are accessing the streaming service illegally through virtual private networks (VPNs). Netflix recently vowed to clamp down on people accessing it via VPNs. Though it doesn't mind if you share your account with a friend or family member.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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