China has a history of banning western sites once they gain popularity in the country, especially those with the potential to give individuals using the platforms the ability to voice views censors find troublesome to a large audience instantaneously. The service has recently grown to become the third most popular app in the national iOS shop. The rise in downloads is attributable to the Asian Games, and state broadcaster CCTV deciding to now to air the esports event. We don't know what triggered the block by the Chinese authorities, and if Twitch knows it isn't telling anyone yet.
Twitch is a live streaming video platform owned by Twitch Interactive, a subsidiary of Amazon.
Abacus News, however, said some local people reckon it's down to the government combating China's gaming addiction problem, which is one of the reasons YouTube is no longer accessible in the country. Many keen gamers flocked to it in late August to watch eSports matches being played at the Asian Games in Jakarta.
The Twitch app also disappeared from the Apple App Store for Chinese users, suggesting a deliberate move to ban the service. Others allegedly believe the ban has something to do with the potential for hostile communications between nearby countries being exchanged through the service. It remains to be seen whether the ban on Twitch is temporary or if it is permanent.
Still, it was bound to happen soon one way or another, since China has cracked down on similar services in the past. The Chinese government so far has not issued any official statement.
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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