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Number of pay TV subscribers in China 2010-2024

The number of pay TV subscribers in China is growing. In 2018, there were around 337 million pay TV subscribers and the number was projected to reach 355 million by 2023. China, the most populous country in the world, has the largest pay TV subscription base worldwide.

Biggest pay TV markets

Compared with other countries, China has already achieved the largest number of pay TV subscribers since 2015. That year, second-placed India had about 150 million pay TV subscribers, and the United States, ranked third, had about 98 million. While the U.S. is projected to maintain this figure in the next years, both India and China show growth projections. India is expected to have 178 million pay TV subscribers by 2021. Forecasts for this market in China are rather aggressive, as the number of pay TV households is expected to increase to 329 million by 2021. Much of this growth is attributed by specialists to government policy to consolidate cable TV operations in China.

Pay TV market players

China is also home of the leading pay TV provider in the world, China Radio & TV. Nearly 198 million people subscribed to China Radio & TV services in 2014. By 2020, just over 250 million people are projected to use the company’s services. American company Liberty Global is forecast go from being the second largest pay TV provider worldwide in 2014 to the fourth by 2020, as two Chinese providers are projected to gain space in the market. Beijing-based China Telecom, one of leading telecommunication provider in the country, is forecast to become the second largest pay TV provider in the world, with about 28 million paying subscribers. BesTV, a subsidiary of Shanghai Media Group (SMG), is expected to rank third in number of subscribers, just behind China Telecom.

Number of pay TV subscribers in China from 2010 to 2024

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Release date

October 2019



Survey time period

2010 to 2018

Special properties

at year end

Supplementary notes

* Forecast.

Data from 2010 and 2016 is from earlier reports.

Figures have been rounded.

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