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China bans Twitch – Business Insider



Ninja, tyler blevins, twitch streamer, fortnite, streamer,
Twitch has made
celebrities out of gamers like Tyler “Ninja”

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty

  • Twitch, the hugely popular streaming service, has been
    banned in China.
  • The ban came after a spike in popularity, probably caused by
    users watching an eSports tournament.
  • Some users view the ban as an oppression of free speech, and
    the Chinese government have recently been tightening control on
    the gaming industry.

Twitch, the streaming giant famous for launching eSports into the
stratosphere, has confirmed that it is now banned in China.

Abacus first reported
that Twitch’s website was unavailable in mainland China, and that
its app had quietly vanished from the Chinese Apple App Store.
Twitch confirmed to Business Insider that it has been banned.

Twitch declined to comment on why it had been banned, or whether
it had had any prior warning from the Chinese government. Abacus
pointed to a recent spike in usership for Twitch, which rocketed
to the number three position for free apps after Chinese users
tuned in to watch coverage of esports championship the Asian
Games, which was not broadcast on state television.

Abacus reports that the ban has enraged Chinese Twitch users,
some of whom see the crackdown as oppression of free speech.
China has has recently become stricter with the video game
industry. The government unexpectedly suspended the approval of
new games in August, including Fortnite, sending gaming
giant Tencent’s
stock tumbling by $140 billion
. Billions of minutes of
“Fortnite” gameplay are watched each month on Twitch, according
to internal figures.

Twitch has a massive viewership, with 15 million daily active
users worldwide. It has also catapulted video game
streamers like Tyler “Ninja” Blevins to fame and fortune
, as
thousands tune in to watch him play Fortnite.

The esports industry is also exploding,
Goldman Sachs valued the market at $500 million in 2016
, and
expects annual compound growth of 22% over the next three years.

China in particular has seen a boom in the esports market
and in August
Chinese video-streaming stocks surged

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