In January 2020, American streaming giant Netflix released its first Mandarin original series from Malaysia—The Ghost Bride. The six-part mini-series—based on Malaysian author Yangsze Choo’s bestselling debut novel—was one of the most ambitious examples of Netflix doubling down on regional, original content in Southeast Asia.

The multinational production hired creative talents from Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and the US. It was shot in Malaysia at multiple locations, with lavish sets, costumes, and computer-generated effects.

“What we’ve seen so far on Netflix is that Malaysians love local content as much as they love Hollywood and Korean content,” says Joey Lim, Netflix’s manager of content acquisitions in Southeast Asia.

AUTHOR

Li Mei Foong

Li Mei Foong is based in Kuala Lumpur, where she seeks to connect the dots between culture and technology in Southeast Asia while keeping an eye on interesting development in its digital creative space. She was previously a freelance features journalist and has reported for regional publications including Channel News Asia (CNA), Southeast Asia Globe, and New Naratif.

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