The most popular live-streaming service for video games in the world got just blocked in China.
A spokesman for Twitch.tv confirmed that their service had been blocked in China, but he did not comment any further. The country’s internet regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China did not respond to a request for a comment.
In last few days Twitch became the 3rd most popular free app in the iOS store in China (according to analytics from App Annie), is it a coincidence that right after this Twitch got banned?
Twitch became popular in China due to the Asian Games, which were last month. This was the first event that featured competitive video gaming and fans were using Twitch to watch their favorite teams. Hong Kong-based tech news Abacus released a statement, that Chinese fans were complaining that the state-run TV wasn’t covering Asian Games and they had to use Twitch.
This was only a matter of time when Twitch will have to face problems in China.
Chinese authorities have repeatedly cracked down on several live-streaming services and placed tight restrictions on these platforms and their users-.
China has been notoriously sensitive in the last few years about foreign companies providing media content in its territory. Unless these platforms agree to some type of censorship as local firms do. Back in 2016 Chinese services from Disney and Apple were shut down, because the government tightened their regulations for online content such as games, books, and videos.
Regulators in China stopped approving licenses which allowed online game providers to charge customers money. Just last month the government said that they are planning to limit the number of new online games and that they want to put more restrictions on the amount of time which can kids and teenagers spend playing these games.
Chinese internet company Tencent lost due to this at least tens of billions of dollars of the market value.