Chinese Streaming Services: What Is The Chinese Equivalent Of Netflix?

What Is The Chinese Equivalent Of Netflix

In the world of streaming services, Netflix has become a household name worldwide. However, in China’s massive digital entertainment market, a few platforms hold their own as strong competitors to Netflix.

iQiyi, Youku, Bilibili, and Tencent Video are powerful players in China’s online video landscape that dominate the local streaming industry. This blog post will provide an insightful dive into these Chinese equivalents of Netflix and compare them based on content availability, user interface, subscription costs, and more.

Chinese Streaming Services Comparable To Netflix

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iQiyi, often referred to as the “Chinese Netflix,” is a Beijing and Shanghai-based Chinese streaming platform owned by tech giant Baidu. This online video platform stands out in the Chinese market with its high-quality original content, user-generated media, live sports, and fully-licensed shows and movies from various sources.

In 2017, recognizing iQiyi’s influence in China where they do not operate directly, Netflix struck a licensing deal with the company to introduce their popular original programs into the Chinese market.

Despite initial comparisons between the two platforms’ strategies, video content, and services offered, iQiyi CEO Gong Yu has expressed his ambition of making iQiyi more like an “online Disney” than merely China’s version of Netflix.

IQiyi App


Initially focusing on user-generated content, Youku later merged with Tudou, another popular Chinese video platform, shifting its emphasis toward professional content. Youku has more than 500 million monthly active users in Mainland China.

Youku boasts an impressive market share alongside other dominant players like Tencent Video and iQiyi. they collectively hold 79% of the online video market shares in China, attracting Chinese audience with a big selection of long and short video etc.

One crucial aspect that sets them apart from competitors is their investment in high-quality video production as well as exclusive partnerships with renowned global brands.


As a streaming platform gaining popularity among Chinese consumers, Bilibili is often compared to Netflix. However, it’s important to note that the two services have different business models and shouldn’t be considered equivalents.

To give you an idea of how distinct their market share is within the Chinese streaming industry – neither Baidu (iQiyi), Alibaba (Youku), nor Tencent has managed to secure dominance in this space.

Despite trying to emulate some successful aspects of Netflix’s approach by bolstering its investment in original content production and licensing deals with international partners like Sony Pictures Television and BBC Studios, Bilibili remains unique among other Chinese internet companies.

Tencent Video

As the largest video streaming platform in China. With over 100 million subscribers, Tencent Video offers a wide range of popular television shows and movies, including locally-produced Chinese content and international favorites like “Game of Thrones.” However, when compared to Netflix’s global appeal, Tencent Video has not achieved the same level of popularity outside of China.

Tencent Video

Comparison Of Chinese Streaming Services To Netflix

Content Availability

While each Chinese Streaming Service has its own strengths and weaknesses, none can be said to be the Chinese equivalent of Netflix.

When it comes to content availability specifically, all four platforms offer a wide range of movies and TV shows from both domestic and international sources. However, some have more exclusive titles than others – for example, iQiyi has deals with major studios like Disney and Sony Pictures while Tencent Video has partnerships with HBO and Showtime.

iQIYI Original Interactive VR Film “Killing a Superstar” Becomes China Mainland’s First VR Production to Win Award at Venice Film Festival

User Interface

iQiyi, Youku, and Bilibili have a distinctively different approach compared to Netflix. While both offer sleek interfaces with various sections for easy navigation, the design elements differ quite significantly.

On the other hand, Netflix tends to focus more on featuring its original content on its homepage while letting users browse by genre or keyword search.

Additionally, regional differences play a significant role in determining how these platforms present the content they offer. In China‘s heavily regulated internet environment where censorship laws strictly regulate what can be shown online, iQiyi often partners with state media companies to produce exclusive content approved by authorities.

Netflix relies on deals with studios in various regions worldwide but must adhere to differing regulations and cultural sensitivities when licensing programming for specific audiences globally.

Subscription Costs

When it comes to subscription costs, Chinese streaming services are generally more affordable than Netflix. Monthly subscriptions for Tencent Video cost 30 yuan (US$4.33), while iQiyi charges 19 yuan (US1.99) in China.

It is worth noting that copyright laws play a significant role in differences in available content between countries. Licensing agreements and royalty payments are crucial factors that affect the range of options provided by each streaming platform across different regions worldwide.

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There are several platforms that can be considered equivalent to Netflix. iQiyi, Youku, Bilibili, and Tencent Video are the top players in this space. While each platform has its own strengths and weaknesses compared to Netflix, they all provide access to a wide range of online content for viewers in China. Among that, there is also a lot of live stream and live video content to choose from, very popular in China.


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