Finally, a public option -- for the movies. For the Chinese.
Major Hollywood studios will allow the government-run China Movie Channel to stream their films via the Internet, according to reports.
The China Movie Channel's new online-streaming service will launch in the fourth quarter of 2012, Reuters reported. The government-run movie channel has yet to name its service, but says it will be very similar to the streaming video offered by Netflix, the news wire reported.
This is a step towards openness -- or at least towards more movies -- in China: prior to the announcement, Chinese government officials had imposed strict controls on Hollywood-produced movies allowed within the country's borders, Reuters reported.
China Movie Channel is regulated by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, Reuters reported.
"It is the country's largest TV buyer of international movies and has deals with all the major studios," according to reports. "Its website, M1905.com, offers 6,000 Chinese-language movies."