In a surprise move, Twitch is now banned in China
There has been no official statement from Twitch.
Gamers in China can no longer use the Twitch gaming platform to tune into a variety of gaming streams and esports competitions. The website is now unavailable in mainland China and the app has been removed from the Chinese Apple App Store, according to news first reported by Abacus (via Business Insider).
Although Twitch confirmed it had been banned in the world’s most populous nation, it wouldn’t say why it was banned. It also wouldn’t say whether it received any prior warning from the Chinese government.
Prior to being banned, Twitch rose quickly in downloads, becoming the number three free app in China.
People are not happy
Not surprisingly, the ban isn’t sitting well with Twitter users. Abacus says the ban has enraged Chinese Twitter users, many who see this as a continued crackdown on free speech in the communist country. In recent months, the country suspended the approval of new games, including Fortnite. Prior to the Twitch ban, Chinese users had tuned in to watch its coverage of esports championship the Asian Games, which was not broadcast on state television.
Is it possible China’s decision to remove Amazon’s Twitch service from the Chinese market has to do with the growing trade war between the two countries?
Twitch is a live streaming video platform owned by Twitch Interactive, a subsidiary of Amazon. Introduced in June 2011 as a spin-off of the general-interest streaming platform, Justin.tv, the site primarily focuses on video game live streaming, including broadcasts of esports competitions, in addition to music broadcasts, creative content, and more recently, “in real life” streams. Content on the site can be viewed either live or via video on demand.
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