Following in the footsteps of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, Twitch is now also banned in China.
Let’s start by saying that Twitch was never that popular in China in the first place due to its lower speed when compared to some of the better local alternatives. Last month, though, we had one of the big eSports events of the year, namely The Asian Games. Surprisingly, the state-run broadcaster decided not to air the tournament. Naturally, viewers quickly turned to an alternative which quickly made Twitch the third most used app in China for August. Popularity saw more than a 20-fold rise when compared to the previous week. What we’re now witnessing are the consequences.
After the viewership of the Asian Games hit the high numbers, it was only a matter of time before the Chinese government issued a response. Since only the China Central Television had the official rights to the broadcast, anyone else attempting to do so was to receive a lifetime ban. Soon Twitch became no longer accessible and the app disappeared from Apple’s App Store.
This legal trend isn’t new in China where most western media outlets are being banned one by one. As mentioned above, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter were already inaccessible and now Twitch has joined the list. Valve are currently still working on introducing a special version of Steam for the Chinese market. For most, the Great Firewall, as many call it, continues to block any influence coming from outside the country.