U.S.-based video streaming giant Netflix has purchased a new Chinese drama series, which Chinese film critics hailed as proof that Chinese TV series are becoming globally recognized.
Netflix announced on its website on Thursday that it will stream the series The Rise of Phoenixes starting September 14.
Rob Roy, Netflix Vice President for Content - Asia, said that Netflix "looks forward to growing the Chinese title catalog with more stories that bring to life the intriguing heritage of Chinese culture."
This is a story of power, desire, lust and love among people from different kingdoms in ancient China, all with the desire of rising to become The Great Phoenix.
Media said the move aims to increase its presence in the Asian market.
This is not the first time that Netflix is streaming a Chinese drama. The internet entertainment service platform streamed other popular Chinese series in 2015 and 2017.
Netflix's stream of Chinese series is aimed at the pan-Asian region, especially from Southeast Asia, a potential market with about 650 million smart devices like mobile phones and tablets, 36Kr said.
It said Netflix intends to increase its members from Asia to offset slow growth in North America, 36Kr reported.
Luo Ting, a media expert at the Communication University of China, told the Global Times on Monday that "localization is indispensible if Netflix wants to expand its business at Asia and Chinese-speaking regions."
"Buying overseas copyrights is a simple and effective way," Luo said.
Huace Group, the publisher company of The Rise of Phoenixes, said in a statement that the streaming on Netflix benefits the exposure of Chinese works overseas.
"It will not only highlight the development and progress of the Chinese entertainment industry but will also promote traditional Chinese culture," the statement said.
Netflix's decision shows that the global market recognizes Chinese dramas, Luo noted.
The 70-episode series will stream on Netflix starting September 14 with the first 15 episodes.