Netflix Inc. is doubling down on Asia.
The media giant NFLX, -0.56% is developing 17 new Asian original productions, Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said during a content showcase event in Singapore on Thursday. The shows will be produced in Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, India and South Korea.
Although Netflix has not been able to bring its streaming service to China, the company isn’t giving up on the surrounding region. Netflix’s latest move is a sign of an increasing investment in Asian storytellers and a market that could bring in hundreds of millions of potential subscribers. Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings said earlier this year the service’s next 100 million users could come from India.
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“Asia is home to the world’s great creative centers producing some of the most compelling films and series of today,” said Sarandos.
He also noted that Asian content tends to do well elsewhere, so investing in Asia is a win all-around. “More than half of Asian content hours viewed on Netflix this year are viewed outside the region, so we have confidence that our upcoming slate of Asian productions will find fans in their home countries and abroad,” he said.
Among the slate of new shows were several anime titles: “Pacific Rim,” which will expand on the first two live action movies; “Altered Carbon,” set in the same universe as the Netflix live-action sci-fi series; “Cagaster of an Insect Cage,” based on a manga about a mysterious disease that turns people into giant murderous insects; “Yasuke,” about a retired ronin charged with transporting and protecting a mysterious child targeted by dark forces; and “Trese,” based on the Philippine graphic novel by the same name.
Thai language originals coming to Netflix include “The Stranded,” about an 18-year-old student who is stranded on a remote island in the Andaman Sea after a devastating tsunami, and “Shimmers,” a drama series about five teens who are haunted by ghosts of their pasts.
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“Triad Princess,” a Taiwanese original series that follows the adventures of the daughter of a member of the Triad crime syndicate, is also coming to Netflix.
CEO Hastings also announced Korean TV series “Kingdom” will get a second season on the streaming service. The first season hasn’t aired yet; it will be released on Netflix in January 2019.
Netflix shares were up 0.6% Thursday and have gained 72% in 2018, while the S&P 500 SPX, -0.15% has gained 5% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.07% has gained 6%.