iQiyi (NASDAQ: IQ), China’s answer to Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX), has just hit 100 million users, thanks to its tremendous success in its domestic market. The video streaming arm of Chinese major Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU) was pretty close to this milestone when it reported first-quarter earnings a month ago, with total subscriber count standing at 96.8 million.
Over the quarters, the Chinese company has maintained approximately 98% of its total subscribers as paid ones.
In the trailing four quarters, iQiyi’s subscriber base has seen year-over-year growths of 58%, 72%, 89% and 75% respectively. However, the stock has been hurt by the tariff war with the US, and has plunged 44% in the past 12 months of trading.
In comparison, hurt by the slower growth in a saturated US market and headwinds in a few international markets, Netflix’s year-over-year growth in paid subscriber base has been pegged in the range of 25-26% in the past few quarters.
During the last reported quarter, Netflix said its global streaming paid memberships increased 25% to 148.9 million.
iQiyi’s President of Membership and Overseas Business, Yang Xianghua told Reuters that the company is now looking to expand operations into international markets such as North America and Japan.
IQ stock was modestly up during pre-market trading on Monday.
On reaching the milestone, iQiyi CEO Dr. Yu Gong said, “Chinese consumers are increasingly willing to pay for high-quality content, a trend underpinned by the rapid evolvement of the entertainment industry and technology in China.”
Like Netflix, iQiyi has been shelling out a lot on original content, besides making huge investments on technologies including AI that can improve the platform.
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