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News and Trends / Netflix

North Korea Has a Netflix Clone With a Very Interesting Name

Contributing Writer
2 min read
This story originally appeared on PCMag

Netflix has not yet rolled out in North Korea, but don't worry: the secretive nation has its own version of the streaming service, and it has quite the name, "Manbang."

As Variety reports, citing NK News, the service runs on a dedicated streaming box similar to the Apple TV $129.99 at Groupon or Roku $49.00 at Amazon. But there's no House of Cards or Transparent here. Manbang, which translates to "everywhere" in Korean, allows users to watch "documentary films about the leadership and learn Russian and English languages."

Snooze.

North Korea is one of the most restrictive countries in the world, banning just about every Western website or service, including streaming offerings like Netflix. When Netflix went global earlier this year, North Korea was left off the expansion list (as was China, Syria and Crimea), leaving room for the North Korean government to step in, according to Variety.

As NK News reports, Korea Central Television (KCTV) put a positive spin on the service, arguing that Manbang keeps children happy. "Children tended to pester to show new interesting videos again after their release, but we had difficulty in dealing with it," a teacher at an orphange told the station. "However, we are happy since we are now able to show films to them again, and children enjoy it."

State-sponsored fun for all.

Netflix by the Numbers