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article imageChina puts block on Twitch game-streaming service

By Tim Sandle     Sep 21, 2018 in Internet
The game-streaming service Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, is no longer accessible to users inside China. The app has also disappeared from the China Apple Store.
China has placed a block on the streaming service Twitch. The service has recently grown to become the third most popular app in the national iOS shop. According to the website Complex, a Twitch spokesperson has confirmed the block, although no Chinese officials have said anything publicly on the matter.
Twitch is a live streaming video platform, the site primarily focuses on video game live streaming, including broadcasts of eSports competitions. Its rise in popularity mirrors the continuing popularity of video games. The site boasts, according to TechCrunch, 2.2 million broadcasters monthly and 15 million daily active users.
Part of the increase in growth has come from Chinese eSports fans who flocked to Twitch so they could to watch their country compete in the Asian Games last month. The event featured competitive video gaming. According to the Hong Kong website Abacus, Chinese fans were annoyed that state-run TV wasn't covering the event and thus turned to Twitch in droves.
The Next Web states that some Chinese users believe Twitch fell victim to censors after locals started trash talking in streams from other countries. This practice came to the attention of the Chines government. Trash-talk is a form of insult usually found in sports events.
Commenting the technology news site The Verge, Shannon Liao suggests that the block was a "cautionary measure" that authorities regularly apply to Western media platforms that become popular. The commentator speculates that that the ban is temporary and that the measure has been taken to send out a signal to western corporate giants that the Chinese state exerts a degree of control.
In the past other Internet services have been impacted by China’s so-called "Great Firewall". Services that have been blocked for a period of time are include Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.
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