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Twitch abruptly blocked in China & delisted from local iOS App Store

Twitch abruptly blocked in China & delisted from local iOS App Store

September 20, 2018 | By Alex Wawro

Video streaming platform Twitch has suddenly hit a wall in China, as the Twitch website is currently inaccessible in the country and the Twitch iOS app has been removed from Apple's regional App Store.

It's something worth noting for game devs who use Twitch as a promotional tool, though it's not yet clear why this happened or how accessible Twitch is to folks in China who are willing to try and work around these limits.

The news comes courtesy of an Abacus report which suggests that this may be related to a recent surge in popularity Twitch enjoyed in China after it was highlighted as one of the few ways to watch eSports in the 2018 Asian Games.

The competitive event was held a few weeks ago in Indonesia, and was reportedly the first Asian Games to feature eSports as a broadcast event. However, Abacus reported that official Chinese Asian Games broadcaster CCTV did not broadcast the eSports (specifically, a League of Legends tournament), despite the fact that one of the players to watch was China's own Jian "Uzi" Zihao. Twitch did carry the eSports portion, and its iOS app reportedly climbed over 300 places in China's App Store to become the third most-downloaded free app.

Now, a Twitch representative has confirmed to Gamasutra that Twitch is blocked in China, but has yet to offer further details on why that might be or how long it's expected to last. 

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