China just blocked Amazon's streaming service Twitch

The world's most popular service for live-streaming video games may have just lost a big potential market....

Posted: Sep 21, 2018 2:06 PM
Updated: Sep 21, 2018 2:07 PM

The world's most popular service for live-streaming video games may have just lost a big potential market.

Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, is no longer accessible to users inside China. It has also disappeared from Apple's iOS App Store in China.

A spokesman for Twitch confirmed Friday that the service, which lets users watch and broadcast video-game playing, had been blocked in China but wouldn't comment further. The country's internet regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The move comes after the streaming service became the third most popular free app in the Chinese iOS store, according to analytics firm App Annie.

That surge in popularity resulted from Chinese eSports fans using Twitch to watch their country compete in the Asian Games last month, which was the first time the event had featured competitive video gaming. According to Hong Kong-based tech news site Abacus, Chinese fans were annoyed that state-run TV wasn't covering the event and turned to Twitch in droves.

The live-streaming service, which Amazon bought in 2014 for almost $1 billion, joins a host of other foreign platforms that are blocked by China's vast censorship apparatus, which is known as the Great Firewall. They include YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Twitch was likely to have faced problems in China sooner or later.

Chinese authorities have repeatedly cracked down on live-streaming services, placing tight restrictions on platforms and popular users.

China is notoriously sensitive about foreign companies providing media content in its territory, unless they agree to the type of stringent censorship local firms do. In 2016, Chinese services from Disney and Apple were shut down as the government tightened regulations governing online content such as videos, games and books.

The setback to Twitch comes at a time when the Chinese government has started taking a harder line on the gaming industry. Regulators have stopped approving licenses allowing online games to charge customers money.

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.

The moves wiped tens of billions of dollars off the market value of Chinese internet company Tencent, which has a huge gaming business.

China is the world's largest gaming market, accounting for a quarter of global revenue, according to market research firm Newzoo. The firm forecasts China's total gaming revenue will reach $38 billion this year.

-- Serenitie Wang and Sherisse Pham contributed to this report.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 34574

Reported Deaths: 2134
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9853578
Lake3616190
Allen161869
Cass15877
Elkhart132228
St. Joseph127434
Hendricks116971
Hamilton115993
Johnson1105108
Madison58659
Porter53928
Bartholomew51135
Clark50441
LaPorte43323
Howard40828
Tippecanoe4023
Jackson3891
Delaware38537
Shelby37322
Hancock33827
Floyd31839
Boone31535
Morgan27724
Vanderburgh2742
Montgomery24117
White2358
Noble23221
Clinton2321
Decatur22431
Grant21122
Dubois1993
Harrison19422
Henry18211
Greene16924
Vigo1698
Dearborn16821
Monroe16612
Warrick16628
Lawrence16324
Miami1401
Putnam1377
Kosciusko1351
Jennings1304
Orange12822
Scott1203
Franklin1108
Ripley1096
Marshall1082
Carroll932
Daviess8816
Steuben832
Wayne825
LaGrange812
Wabash782
Newton7810
Fayette777
Jasper671
Washington521
Jay520
Clay511
Fulton491
Rush472
Randolph473
Pulaski460
Jefferson451
Whitley423
Starke393
DeKalb371
Sullivan361
Owen351
Brown331
Perry330
Wells320
Benton300
Huntington282
Knox280
Tipton251
Blackford252
Crawford240
Fountain212
Switzerland200
Spencer201
Parke180
Gibson172
Posey160
Adams151
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin110
Vermillion100
Union90
Pike60
Unassigned0167
West Lafayette
Overcast
71° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 71°
Kokomo
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 70°
Rensselaer
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 70°
Fowler
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 70°
Williamsport
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 70°
Crawfordsville
Scattered Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 68°
Frankfort
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 73°
Delphi
Broken Clouds
71° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 71°
Monticello
Broken Clouds
71° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 71°
Logansport
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 70°
Mild Today, Much Warmer Weather Tomorrow.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events