Hong Kong billionaire plans African rival to Netflix

PCCW, controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li, is planning a video-on-demand service for South Africa that would compete with Netflix and Naspers’s ShowMax, according to two people familiar with the matter.

PCCW’s HKT unit will unveil the entertainment service as early as next week, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified as the product hasn’t been made public yet. 

Telecommunications conglomerate PCCW bought a majority stake in mobile video-on-demand service Vuclip in March and plans to expand the service into new markets, including Africa.

PCCW declined to comment. 

The company’s shares fell by 1.5% to HK$4.08 a share (about R7.20 a share) at the close of trading in Hong Kong, giving the media company a value of HK$30.8-billion (around R54.4-billion). The stock is down by 23% this year.


Streaming services are targeting Africa as wireless networks become more widespread and reliable, allowing the delivery of video in a region where landlines are scarce. 

Local users access content on mobile devices produced by companies such as Nigeria’s IRoko Partners.

The challenges of capturing an audience of more than a billion people include persuading users to accept the data costs that result from streaming. 

Naspers wants to reduce this cost with plans to allow customers to download content rather than stream it when the company expands ShowMax beyond South Africa. – © Bloomberg

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Homecoming: Quarantine chronicles

Fourteen days of quarantine in a Centurion hotel may be tedious, but for Kate Bartlett, there are plenty of laughs with new friends

Amadou Diallo will never be forgotten

Amadou Diallo, a Guinean man, was killed by NYPD officers 21 years ago. Today protesters still invoke his name as they fight for justice

Please don’t celebrate me: Nothing hurts more

The Netflix series Sex Education shows that whether you’re celebrating or vilifying “the Other”, it’s all part of the same subjugation

‘Athlete A’ exposes the ‘cruelty’ of the elite gymnastics machine

The Netflix documentary explores the system that created the conditions for decades of abuse

Oh Shucks, an accidental blackface hero

Leon Schuster is having a few movies of his removed from Showmax and Phumlani Pikoli figures: what better time to reflect on this bruh than now?

The things Hollywood taught us to think about trans existences

Disclosure, a Netflix documentary examines the world's transphobic legacy as portrayed in film and television from as early as 1901
Advertising

New education policy on gender violence released

Universities and other higher education institutions have to develop ways of preventing or dealing with rape and other damaging behaviour

Cambridge Food Jozini: Pandemic or not, the price-gouging continues

The Competition Commission has fined Cambridge Food Jozini for hiking the price of its maize meal during April

Sekhukhune’s five-year battle for water back in court

The residents of five villages are calling for the district municipal manager to be arrested

Vaccine trial results due in December

If successful, it will then have to be manufactured and distributed
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday