The Amazon-owned service was gaining rapid popularity in the country and reached the #3 spot in the App Store last month. As China is one of the largest gaming markets in the world, being shut out from operating there is a big blow indeed. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are also inaccessible in the country.
This is what Twitch looked like in China before it's ban.
Twitch has confirmed that it is being blocked but it has not said why the authorities have imposed the restriction.
Abacas, a Hong Kong-based China tech news site, noticed that Twitch's website was not accessible in parts of China as of earlier this week, and then found that the app was no longer listed on Apple's App Store in the country. Many eSports enthusiasts in China turned to Twitch to follow the Asian Games, which featured eSports competition for the first time this year. China performed well during the games, winning two gold medals, which no doubt contributed to the number of Chinese Twitch viewers.
This time, it's live game streaming service Twitch that has been targeted by the country's censors. This isn't exactly a surprise development in China, however: YouTube has been blocked for a while, and numerous basic functions of Steam are unavailable to Chinese players. Chinese theories on the shutdown are varied too, with Abacus citing fears of a general crackdown on gaming-related media, while others believe it was Twitch chat's fiery trash-talk that earned the government's ire. Stay tuned, because hopefully Twitch will have more to say on the matter in the near future.