Get more with myNEWS
A personalised news feed of stories that matter to you
Learn more

Disney to show movies and cartoons on Netflix-like platform in China

Sharp contrast from Disney's strategy in the US

This article originally appeared on ABACUS
Hundreds of Disney cartoons are coming to Alibaba’s Youku streaming site (Source: Alibaba)

Disney won’t let you watch some of its most popular films on Netflix after next year -- but in China, they’ve just partnered with one of the country’s biggest streaming sites to host its content.

Disney signed a multi-year licensing deal with Alibaba, delivering more than 1,000 animated classics and live-action movies to Chinese households through streaming website Youku and Alibaba’s set-top boxes.

(Abacus is a unit of the South China Morning Post, which is owned by Alibaba.)

It’s a sharp contrast to what Disney is doing in the US. The company is pulling content from Netflix and others to build up a library for its own streaming service, set to launch next year.
Disney actually tried that approach before -- in China. In 2016, the DisneyLife streaming service (also in partnership with Alibaba) was scrapped just a few months after launch following a crackdown by Chinese internet regulators.

Many Western companies are relying on local partners to break into the tightly-controlled Chinese market. Warner Bros., Paramount, Fox, NBCUniversal and others have all signed similar broadcast deals with Alibaba.

For more insights into China tech, sign up for our tech newsletters, subscribe to our Inside China Tech podcast, and download the comprehensive 2019 China Internet Report. Also roam China Tech City, an award-winning interactive digital map at our sister site Abacus.