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Netflix inks deal with Alibaba to acquire another Chinese show

Netflix is stepping up efforts to appeal to Chinese-speaking audience and young children by adding a second show from Alibaba and acquiring children content company StoryBots. According to Alibaba, the streaming giant has purchased rights to a romantic comedy titled I Hear You from Alibaba Group’s Youku video service, reported the The Straits Times.

The show will air in 190 countries and regions starting 15 May. This comes after Netflix’s purchase of detective thriller Day and Night from Alibaba that drew more than four billion views in China in its first four months on Youku, reported ST. While Netflix is currently not in China, it has been expanding its repertoire of popular Chinese shows. Earlier, it has also acquired rights to one of the highest-grossing movie in China this year, The Wandering Earth and is planning to produce an original series in Mandarin as well, according to ST.

Marketing has reached out to Alibaba for more comments.

Meanwhile, Netflix’s acquisition of StoryBots will see it “significantly expand” the universe of the brand, building on the characters that kids across the globe know and love. It also signifies Netflix’s commitment to bring educational content to its growing member base of kids and families around the world.

Together, Netflix and the founders of StoryBots will produce more StoryBots original programming such as series and short form specials, while also expanding the brand into new areas. They will engage creative teams, subject matter experts, and educational consultants to help ensure that the educational content they are producing for StoryBots is relevant around the world. Netflix added that it has plans for a number of additional upcoming educational programming for preschoolers that have yet to be announced.

Netflix declined to comment on Marketing‘s queries.

Currently, Netflix carries an original animated series Ask The StoryBots that has “grown significantly year over year” since it first started streaming in 2016. The series makes innovative use of multiple formats, including 3D, 2D, claymation, stop motion, and even live action. “Ask The StoryBots has a proven track record of synthesising complex subjects into bite-sized lessons that are funny and entertaining for young kids and satisfying for parents,” said Netflix’s vice president of original animation, Melissa Cobb.

(Photo courtesy: 123RF)

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