Twitch is longer accessible in China and is not available for downloads either. The website saw a huge surge in popularity during the recent Asian Games 2018. With the state broadcaster choosing not to air the Asian Games 2018, fans and gamers flocked to Twitch. Traditionally, twitch has not seen widespread acceptance amongst the Chinese mainly due to poor speeds. Twitch does not have servers within China which severely impacts its performance and speeds.
While Twitch has confirmed that they are blocked in China, they have nothing else to add to it. China has recently started enforcing laws wherein they can regulate esports and the gaming industry. There is a temporary hold on the release of new gaming titles in China. The state government plans to have a limit on the number of online game releases in a year. According to the official press release, this is to combat the problem of Myopia which is rising amongst the youth.
China’s performance at the Asian Games 2018.
China secured two gold medals and a silver medal from the Asian Games 2018. Here is a list of their achievements for the games.
- Gold Medal: League of legends.
- Golde Medal: Arena of Valor.
- Silver Medal: Clash Royale.
Esports is highly popular in China and they are responsible for some big numbers in terms of viewership. There are several internet cafes where players can play for several hours at a stretch. There will be three new Chinese franchises for the Overwatch League in their upcoming season.
Twitch – The Loss of a huge market
For now, Twitch remains blocked in one of the biggest markets for esports. It joins the likes of Facebook, Whatsapp and Google as they are tech companies which failed to crack into the Chinese market. There are several reasons for this decision to block twitch.
Twitch might be the latest victim between the US-China Trade war. The US has increased its tariffs on Chinese goods thereby severely impacting Chinese exports. China has traditionally always provided resistance to western Tech Giants entering the country. Even the ones that did enter China eventually ( such as Google) were after significant changes. China is one of the biggest markets in the world and esports is no different.
For Twitch this block is a huge blow. China is one of the biggest esports markets. We have seen several big esports tournaments taking place in China over the past year. One of the biggest esports tournaments, The International 2019 is also slated to take place in Shanghai.