This has been coming, and now it has been confirmed—gaming service site Twitch has been official blocked in China. What that means is that you will no longer find the app in Apple’s App Store in China.
Earlier this week, Twitch’s website was no longer accessible inside mainland China. Its app also quietly disappeared from Apple’s App Store in the country, suggesting that it’s not a glitch or accident but a deliberate move.
Early signs started showing its ugly head at the start of the week when the site became inaccessible to millions of users in the Asian country. The inability of users to access the site was first suspected to be a glitch, but the sudden disappearance of the app from the App Store in China all but confirmed our fears.
While the fate of Twitch appears to have been sealed in China, YouTube does not seem to have that sort of issue as its app is still very much available for download. What use then is being able to access and download the YouTube app in the App Store and not being able to connect to its servers from within China.
When contacted by Abacus News, Twitch pretty much confirmed the block—offering no further explanation in the process.
It is indeed a sad period for Twitch lovers in China who have come to see the service as a source where they can access their favorite games online. Twitch’s rating hit an all-time high about a month ago when it rose to occupy the number 3 position among free apps on the App Store.
Prior to the block, Chinese citizens were flooding the service for esports coverage, which was a big hit before rumors of an impending block started filtering in.
Twitch is certainly not the first company to suffer such fate in China. Social media companies like Facebook, YouTube, Google and Reddit have all had their own share of the problem and are currently not accessible in that country.
This time last year, Telegram app added support for Twitch video. With that update, users are able to watch Twitch streams in Picture-in-Picture mode while chatting with their friends. The Twitch video support is one of a couple of other new features the encrypted chat app added that year.
A proof that Twitch was heading the right direction came in the middle on 2016 when Facebook launched live video game streaming to rival Amazon’s Twitch.
Facebook threw its hart in the ring to take on Twitch and YouTube in a field both companies largely dominate. The social media company announced it was working with Blizzard to build a social login and Facebook Live video streaming into their games. Soon afterward, users started playing their favorite Blizzard Entertainment games like “World of Warcraft” and the massively popular “Overwatch.”