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Twitch Streaming Banned In China After Gaining Popularity

(Image credit: Twitch)

In an unexpected move, China has blocked the Twitch.tv website and removed the application from the Apple App Store since Thursday, BBC reported. Twitch has confirmed the block but didn’t say why the authorities censored the service.

The Chinese government seems to have issued a censorship order for Twitch streaming in the country. As of now, neither the Chinese government nor Twitch or its parent company Amazon have said why the block occurred.

The move came after Twitch became the third-most popular free app in the Chinese iOS store. The app saw this surge in popularity last month when the Asian Games hosted in Jakarta, Indonesia featured video gaming competitions for the first time. Chinese eSports fans started using Twitch after the Chinese state-run media wouldn’t show those competitions.

China’s History of Blocking Foreign Media Services

China has a long history of frequently blocking not just foreign online websites, but especially media services. The Chinese government doesn’t seem to want to allow its citizens to access media without heavy restrictions being applied to it first.

Other foreign platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Google’s Play Store and other services are also censored in the country. Disney and Apple’s Chinese media services were also blocked back in 2016.

Another issue is that the Chinese government’s enforcement of media censorship rules have been quite inconsistent, which has given foreign investors concerns and may even prevent them from investing into the country in the future.

  • BulkZerker
    Might it have something to do with it being a site that openly promotes and celebrates something the Chinese government has a problem with directly? Or os it that it promotes and even celebrates so ethic g the Chinese government have a priblem with directly that is not the awnser to the first question?
    Maybe it's goes soe.thing to do with the Chinese peoe not spending ding their money "in house" too...
    Reply
  • poopflinger
    21340017 said:
    Might it have something to do with it being a site that openly promotes and celebrates something the Chinese government has a problem with directly? Or os it that it promotes and even celebrates so ethic g the Chinese government have a priblem with directly that is not the awnser to the first question?
    Maybe it's goes soe.thing to do with the Chinese peoe not spending ding their money "in house" too...

    The last point you made seems like it could be very likely. I find it ironic that the Chinese are ok taking all the American money through selling us goods, but they aren't ok with Americans taking Chinese money through a streaming service. They truly are trying to dominate the world economy. Fine, they don't get to watch Americans streaming the games they are playing on Chinese manufactured hardware. That will only hurt their ability to sell even more hardware.
    Reply
  • CerianK
    In this case, I'm guessing that it has more to do with the Chinese govt trying to control any additional sources of Internet addiction that they deem time-wasters.

    I've noticed that with my high-school aged kids, some of the time they spend on Twitch or playing PoE is not spare time... it eats into time they should be doing homework. It is tough for me to tolerate that behavior, and by definition, the Chinese govt is a parent to all of the Chinese people, thus might take action affecting everyone to try an ensure benefit for school-work.

    There might be other reasons, but if the above is the case, they will likely fail to attain that goal.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    21340017 said:
    Might it have something to do with it being a site that openly promotes and celebrates something the Chinese government has a problem with directly?
    Well, live video streaming is still quite difficult to censor. So, it could be used as a platform for spreading "dangerous" ideas.
    Reply
  • Christopher1
    CERIANK, homework is busywork. The local schools where I live phased out homework a long time ago after parental outcries because if the children got 'stuck' in the homework, their parents usually could not help them because they did not understand the homework in question.
    So they simply said "No more homework!" and it has worked well. Student graduation rates have not dropped and grade point average have actually gone up not down.
    Reply
  • CerianK
    21340453 said:
    CERIANK, homework is busywork...
    I agree for some classes. However, here, my oldest kid got booted out of an AP Lit class when school started because he hadn't done the required Summer reading. As far as AP Calculus goes, you're right, I took it too long ago to be of much help. However, I recall enough about Calculus to know that you cannot possibly master the material without doing homework (though for AP, you don't have to turn it in... just pass the tests). Long-story-short, lacking good mastery of time-management, he will not likely get into MIT, which was a target-school, but now only a reach-school.

    To get back on track, having spent some time in China, I have a fair understanding of the intense pressure kids are under there to compete... and their government tries to maintain that pressure. Here in my state, I used to work with advising educational policy in regard to video telecourses and online learning... long before anyone had an idea that Internet/screen addiction would become a 'thing'. I see the effect of this unintended consequence in my current job, where I am one of the few that has sufficient discipline and attention span to perform certain tasks that I would consider to be basic entry-level. I'm hoping the downward-trend doesn't continue, but unlike China, still believe that the 'cream rises to the top' and government trying to force it to the top is a fool's errand which will (and already does) have other unintended consequences.
    Reply
  • henrygates3
    Communism.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    21340938 said:
    Communism. authoritarianism
    Modern-day China is Communist in name only.
    Reply
  • andrew.maizels
    "Unexpected."

    It's China. This is what they DO.
    Reply
  • gggplaya
    21340259 said:
    In this case, I'm guessing that it has more to do with the Chinese govt trying to control any additional sources of Internet addiction that they deem time-wasters.

    I've noticed that with my high-school aged kids, some of the time they spend on Twitch or playing PoE is not spare time... it eats into time they should be doing homework. It is tough for me to tolerate that behavior, and by definition, the Chinese govt is a parent to all of the Chinese people, thus might take action affecting everyone to try an ensure benefit for school-work.

    There might be other reasons, but if the above is the case, they will likely fail to attain that goal.

    My Asus Router has parental controls built in. You can Lock MAC addresses to time blocks of when they can have internet access. That way you can set it for say 7pm to 10pm so they aren't playing video games when you're not home. They have the choice of either playing outside or working on homework.

    21340453 said:
    CERIANK, homework is busywork. The local schools where I live phased out homework a long time ago after parental outcries because if the children got 'stuck' in the homework, their parents usually could not help them because they did not understand the homework in question.
    So they simply said "No more homework!" and it has worked well. Student graduation rates have not dropped and grade point average have actually gone up not down.

    I don't agree with them doing this. My son's elementary school does this and I still make him do some course work at home. People learn differently, and I didn't get much from classroom time, especially with math. I had to actually go through the problems and work them out for myself to understand them. Especially with AP Calculus and Physics.

    Reply