China blocks game streaming service Twitch
The video game streaming service Twitch has been blocked in China.
Since September 20, Twitch's website has been unreachable from within the country and its app has been removed from Apple's local App Store.
Twitch has confirmed that it is being blocked, but has not said why the authorities imposed the restriction.
The service was cut shortly after enjoying a significant surge in popularity among Chinese gamers.
The streaming service has been gaining a following in China in recent months. Many enthusiastic gamers flocked in late August to watch eSports matches being played at the Asian Games in Jakarta.
The Games were not broadcast on state media in China, forcing many to use Twitch to watch gaming tournaments.
Chinese authorities have not released any official statement to explain why Twitch has been blocked. China operates a comprehensive online censorship system that seeks to police speech on sensitive topics and limit what people can do and see online.
The constant shutdown of Twitch access was recorded through social networks in China. Players and viewers in many provinces reported that the site was suddenly unavailable in their region. By the end of the week, Twitch was completely blocked.
Writing on tech news site The Verge, Shannon Liao suggested that the blockade was a "precautionary measure". that the authorities regularly apply to Western media platforms that become popular.
Often, Ms. Liao said, these bans and roadblocks are put in place before anything controversial happens.