The livestream platform Twitch is no longer available in China. After a surge in popularity last month among esports fans, this week the Twitch app was abruptly removed from the iOS App Store in China, leaving fans in the lurch.
Twitch has confirmed to Polygon that it is aware of the situation. We’ve reached out for further comment, specifically with regard to what communications it has had with the Chinese government.
News of Twitch’s exclusion from the Chinese market comes amid a very strange period for that country’s games industry. For months now, government regulators have been denying approval for any new video games. At least one popular game, Monster Hunter: World, had its license revoked days after launch.
While the Chinese government regularly requires that games developed outside the country be modified for its citizens, the current state of affairs goes much deeper. In an official statement, translated by the Washington Post and other outlets, government regulators claim that they are endeavoring to protect teenagers’ eyesight. Some analysts, however, suggest that the issues are more generational, with the older members of the Chinese government seeking to crack down on what they perceive as a rise in gambling and addiction.
Whatever the reason, several massive Chinese media companies are feeling the pressure. Tencent’s stock price fell dramatically on the news that Monster Hunter’s license had been revoked, while NetEase stock prices were also down last month.