Twitch has been blocked in China

Twitch saw a tremendous uptick in popularity in China last month, becoming the third-most popular app on the iOS App Store, according to Abacus News. The surge was reportedly driven by the presence of esports at the 2018 Asian Games, which weren't carried by state broadcaster CCTV but were available on Twitch. 

That potential win for Twitch has turned sour, however, as Chinese authorities have responded by blocking Twitch outright. The website is no longer accessible in the country, and the app has been removed from the App Store. Twitch confirmed with the site that it has been blocked, but offered no other details. 

It's not necessarily a huge direct loss for Twitch, since it wasn't much of a presence in China to begin with, but the success it enjoyed with the Asian Games esports stream could have been a big stepping-off point for further growth. But even though the block was apparently imposed without warning, it's not exactly surprising: China has never been a beacon of online freedom, and recently seems to be cracking down even more forcefully than usual, including a full-on freeze of game license approvals last month. 

I've reached out to Twitch for more information about the block, and the likelihood of a resolution that will see service restored, and will update if I receive a reply. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.