China blocks Twitch after surge in popularity

The Chinese eSports team competing at the Asian Games in Indonesia last month

The Chinese eSports team competing at the Asian Games in Indonesia last month

That interest in the Asian Games helped fuel Twitch's quick rise in popularity within China, so perhaps it's not a surprise that it's been banned following that surge of interest. Following the Games, Twitch's iOS app climbed to the 3 position in Apple's App Store in China, before it was quietly taken down, presumably another measure to comply with local regulations.

The Chinese made a decision to block Twitch after the app massively increased in popularity in August. The tournament wasn't broadcast by China's state broadcaster, CCTV, so many flocked to the streaming outlet.

Twitch's parent company, Amazon, may be a tech giant in the West but even with its influence, it will likely be quite hard to convince China's governing elite to reverse the ban on the popular games streaming service.

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Twitch joins the elite company of Facebook, Google, YouTube, and Reddit in being banned in China.

The streaming site, which focuses on gaming content, is one of the most popular websites in the world, with users watching nearly five billion hours of content in 2018 alone. Twitch did carry the eSports portion, and its iOS app reportedly climbed over 300 places in China's App Store to become the third most-downloaded free app. The Chinese government so far has not issued any official statement.

Last month, the government said it planned to limit the number of new online games and put restrictions on the amount of time children and teenagers can spend playing them. Capcom's own Monster Hunter World was removed from the Chinese gaming platform, We Game, which is owned by tech giant Tencent. Steam's community features are already blocked in China (see PC Gamer here) - fingers crossed that's all that stays blocked for now. The firm forecasts China's total gaming revenue will reach $38 billion this year.

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