US video streaming service provider Netflix is in talks with Indonesia’s top telecom firm PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk. (Telkom) to roll out its service in the country, says a Telkom spokesman.
Netflix has made an aggressive push globally, but faced problems in several major Asian markets in the form of tough local competition and regulatory hurdles. In Indonesia – a country with 250 million people and home to the world’s largest Muslim population – Netflix ran afoul of the film censorship board last year for carrying content deemed inappropriately violent or sexual.
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Indonesia’s Communications Ministry had also demanded Netflix set up an office in the country and pay local taxes.
While state-controlled Telkom had blocked Netflix, the service was still available in Indonesia via WiFi connections and other carriers.
Telkom vice-president for corporate communication Arif Prabowo confirmed in a text message the company is now negotiating a partnership agreement with Netflix and hopes to complete the process next month.
Arif said Telkom was previously concerned Netflix carried “content that has a negative element”.
“If we work together, that means we would know and can be responsible for the content broadcast by Netflix.”
Teaming up with Netflix would expand Telkom’s content offering, he said. “The choices for our customers will be more varied.”
A Netflix spokesman declined to comment. – Reuters