China has been known for blocking popular websites from the west before. Now, according to reports this morning, major gaming streaming site Twitch has also been blocked 100% in China.
Twitch’s mobile app has also effectively been removed from the App Store, and users in China can’t even access the site anymore. Apparently, Twitch has not been doing well in China, which was primarily due to its slow service in the region. However, August saw a huge boost on Twitch, when it became the third most popular free app in the country. You can likely attribute that to many Chinese viewers watching Esports tournaments that took place during the Asian Games. Sadly, China’s state-run broadcaster, CCTV, was not televising these Esports competitions.
According to Analytics firm Sensor Tower, downloads for the Twitch app were 23 times higher during the week of August 27 compared to the week prior. China performed amazingly well during the games, taking home two gold medals.
Other sites China has blocked
- Google and all its services have been blocked for almost ten years
The trend with all these blocks and censorships seems to be that as soon as a site becomes popular, boom! It’s gone. This does not bode well for fans of Esports and other video games in the country. Losing Twitch is a major blow for the community over there, which is huge. Valve is also in the process of creating a version of Steam to launch in China; who knows what will happen with that now that they have blocked Twitch.
It seems like users in China are going to have to find some kind of workaround for this, as it’s unlikely the country will unblock Twitch anytime soon. I think it’s pretty disappointing that they can no longer use such an important streaming service. Let us know your thoughts on the matter.
Tarah Bleier is a freelance writer, editor and content creator from Toronto. As a graduate from Centennial College’s Journalism program, she has written for Tribute.ca, and Factinate.com and recently for Geek Enthusiast Magazine. In her free time, she loves gaming, cosplaying, prop making and attending as many conventions and geeky events as she can. Writing has always been a passion of hers and she has been a contributing writer of The Planet Observer for many years before becoming its Assistant Editor last year. Her work can also be seen on The Geekcast Radio Network where she has been a podcast host and writer.