On-demand Internet media provider Netflix has expanded its global reach to Vietnam, a country where piracy is rampant and remains a booming business.
The service is now available in 190 countries. People in Vietnam can register for unlimited movies and TV shows and pay a monthly fee of VND180,000-260,000 (US$8-12).
Thanh Nien News tested the service on Thursday afternoon and most of the shows and movies did not look like they were in HD. Streaming speed was fast.
Netflix, which is live in more than 70 million homes including half in the US as of 2015, still does not support the Vietnamese language.
The company has added Arabic, Korean and Chinese to its language options. It is not available in China yet.
The expansion announcement came Wednesday, a day after the company said it will partner with DreamWorks to distribute new original content.
Vietnamese private movie distributor Galaxy Group early last year launched the country’s first video on-demand service FIM+ at the price of VND3 million ($133,350) for six months.
But there are a large number of websites offering pirated movies and TV shows for only a couple dollars a month, or even for free.
The Ministry of Information and Communications in September shut down one of the country’s biggest streaming sites hayhaytv for posting pirated movies and TV shows, including Hollywood blockbusters, soon before it fined the operating company VND60 million ($2,600).