Netflix gears up to launch three Chinese-language originals

Netflix has announced dates for its first three Chinese-language original series, starting with crime thriller Nowhere Man, which commences streaming from October 31, 2019.

Directed by DJ Chen, Nowhere Man tells the story of a gangster on death row who breaks out of prison to protect his family following a series of supernatural experiences. The series was produced in Taiwan and stars local talents Alyssa Chia, Mavis Fan and Joseph Chang.

Also produced in Taiwan is action comedy Triad Princess, directed by Neal Wu, which is scheduled to start streaming from December 6. Eugenie Liu stars as the daughter of a mafia man who defies his wishes to take up a job as a bodyguard for a famous actress.

The third series, produced in Malaysia, is period thriller The Ghost Bride, set in 1890s Malacca, which is scheduled to start streaming in January 2020. Directed by Malaysia’s Ho Yuhang, the series stars Wu Kang Jen, Huang Peijia, Ludi Lin and Tian Tze Kuang.

The story revolves around a woman who is being forced by her parents to marry the deceased son of a wealthy family, which would clear their debt, but trap her in an eternal union with the afterlife.

Although foreign streamers are prohibited from entering the mainland China market, Netflix has been slowly ramping up its Chinese-language content offerings for audiences outside of China, especially Chinese-speaking viewers in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

With its lower costs and established film and TV industries, Taiwan is a natural production base that has also been heavily utilised by Fox Networks Group Asia and HBO Asia for Chinese-language originals.

Netflix has also acquired Chinese-language content including films such as Cities Of Last Things, Dear Ex, Green Door, Us And Them and The Wandering Earth, along with series including The Rise Of Phoenixes and Meteor Garden 2018.