Twitch saw a surge in viewers from China this past month, but now the Amazon-owned streaming service has been banned for users inside the nation’s borders.
As reported over on Abacus News, the initial disappearance came earlier this week when users started to report the app was no longer available to download on smartphones.
Twitch later confirmed this was owing to the company’s streaming service being banned in China, though no further explanation as to why was offered.
The app recently flew up the popular downloads rankings in the country – all the way to third place – thanks to its coverage of the Asian Games, with this year’s esports tournament held in Jakarta, Indonesia, and seeing Chinese entrants take home a couple of gold medals.
With the tournament not being broadcast on more traditional outlets, Chinese users took to Twitch to get their fix. Soon after, the app disappeared into the ban pile with other western apps like Facebook, Youtube, Google, and Reddit.
The actual reason for the banning isn’t clear, but theories put it at one of a few things: the Chinese government’s ever-growing crackdown on gaming; a straightforward crackdown on free speech; or a reaction to some Chinese Twitch users’ conduct on the platform’s chat function, which reportedly saw a fair bit of abuse aimed particularly at South Koreans.