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Netflix ramps up Asian content, orders first Chinese original

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Netflix ramps up Asian content, orders first Chinese original

Netflix Inc. has announced a number of new original Asian shows in the past few days.

The streaming giant commissioned its first Chinese-language original series "Bardo," a supernatural thriller from Taiwan about a man attempting to break out of prison.

The eight-episode series, which will be produced in partnership with Singapore-based production company IFA Media, will be made available for streaming globally. The news comes several months after Netflix unlocked a gateway to China via a licensing deal with iQiyi.

Netflix recently announced two Indian originals — "Selection Day," a cricket and corruption drama based on the book by Aravind Adiga, and "Again," a supernatural detective series written by Marisha Mukerjee of "Quantico."

The streaming service also expanded its Japanese anime lineup with 12 new series and a Godzilla animated film for release this year and in 2018.

The anime series are: "Cannon Busters," "Devilman Crybaby," "B: The Beginning," "Sword Gai: the Animation," "A.I.C.O. Incarnation," "Lost Song," stop-motion animated "Rilakkuma Series" (working title), "Knights of the Zodiac: Saint Seiya," "Baki," "Kakegurui," "Fate/Apocrypha," and "Children of the Whales."

Netflix's increased appetite for local Asian content is part of its "local content for global audiences" strategy. The success of South Korean fantasy drama "Okja" further strengthened the company's belief in the strategy, Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said on the company's recent earnings call. Netflix is also adding a number of South Korean shows.