According to a report by CNN, Twitch — the popular game streaming service owned by Amazon — has been blocked in China. It's unclear why this decision was taken by the government, but Twitch is the latest addition to a list of almost 3,000 websites deemed too dangerous by the current regime. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are also inaccessible in the country.
The country's internet regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China, didn't respond to a request for comment by CNN. It seems that the organization didn't like that Twitch surged in popularity when Chinese esports fans used it to stream the Asian Games in August. This seems like a larger crackdown on gaming because a month ago the government said that it planned on limiting the number of new online games. Officials also added that they were going to put limits on the amount of time children can spend playing games. There isn't any sound research to back up their anti-gaming stance.
However, it might also be a ploy to promote local game streaming services. Either ways, this is a massive blow for Twitch because China is a huge gaming market. The number of players interested in esports and streaming alone is staggering. It's unlikely that the ban will be lifted, and the crackdown will probably extend to other game streaming services soon. We'll keep you posted if the situation changes, but it's not expected to due to how talks have gone between China and companies like Google in the past.
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Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.