Hong Kong ISP HKBN pleads for local Netflix launch

The chief financial officer and co-owner of internet service provider Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN), NiQ Lai, has written an open letter to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings urging the firm to launch in Hong Kong. 

In the letter, Lai said that HKBN “strongly concurs” with Netflix’s belief that robust net neutrality will allow new services built on high-speed internet to emerge and become popular, and extended “a direct invitation for Netflix to formally launch your services here in Hong Kong.”

“Unlike many legacy incumbents around the world, we embrace over-the-top (OTT) content as we consider this to be an essential part of the ecosystem in the fibre era of unlimited bandwidth constraints,” said Lai.

“Bandwidth without engaging content is meaningless, which is why in inviting Netflix to Hong Kong, we are executing on our corporate core purpose to ‘make our Hong Kong a better place to live’.”

Netflix is currently available in North and South America and parts of Western Europe, with plans to roll out in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium and Luxembourg later this year.

Though it is yet to announce any move into an Asian market, Hastings earlier this year called for net neutrality to be “defended and strengthened” in order to protect an open, competitive internet.

HKBN says it offers residential internet at speeds of 100Mbps and above.