Some Singaporeans are pretty unhappy with Netflix

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Video-streaming service provider Netflix, which launched in Singapore last Thursday, is already getting flak from some Singaporeans for limited content compared to its U.S. service.

Singapore's monthly pricing ranges from $7.65 (S$10.98) to $11.83 (S$$16.98), cheaper than rates in the U.S.

Reasonable as the Netflix monthly fees are, some customers are disgruntled about the fact that Netflix Singapore looks nothing like the U.S. Netflix.

House of Cards, Arrested Development, South Korean TV dramas and Chinese Kungfu movies are among the missing content in the Singapore version of the service.

Some took to social media to express their displeasure and complain about the city-state's tight censorship.



There were tweets urging others to stick with their U.S. subscriptions, which are available through a virtual private network (VPN), instead of getting a new local account.

These people might soon be disappointed.

Netflix to block proxy access to content not available locally

Netflix stated in a blog post Thursday that in the coming weeks it would block all VPNs, which are proxies or servers that allow users to access content that is not locally available.

According to The Straits Times, Netflix had previously stated that some shows might not be available to Singapore subscribers due to Singapore's censorship policies.

"After we launch in a given market, we will almost immediately add more content to the service as it grows in popularity," said a Netflix spokesperson to CNBC.

The spokesperson added that "the world of content licensing has traditionally been very fragmented and regionalized. It will take some time to get an offering that's the same everywhere."

China's movie and streaming market
China's movie and streaming market

Netflix has also introduced a parental lock for age-limit categorized content in some new markets, such as in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.

Under Singapore's Films Act, which relates to the "possession, importation, making, distribution and exhibition of films," there are tight regulations about what can or cannot be aired in the island state.

Netflix should [get those rights issues fixed, but some of it may be out of their control because of Singapore's Media Development Authority censorship," said Kin Mun Lee, better known by his pseudonym Mr. Brown, a Singaporean social commentator and popular blogger.

He told CNBC his stance on censorship is "don't tell me what I can or cannot read or watch."

Films classified as pornography or politically-sensitive films are still banned in Singapore, such as "To Singapore, With Love" a documentary about the republic's political exiles.

Last week, Netflix, which previous only had a presence in 60 countries, expanded its global footprint to 190 countries, notably excluding China.

"Obviously [China] is a very large country… you need specific permission from the government to operate. So we're continuing to work on that and we're very patient," said Reed Hastings, co-founder and chief executive at Netflix, during a press conference at the CES 2016.

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