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Tencent is shutting down its rival to Amazon’s Twitch

Tencent is shutting down its rival to Amazon's Twitch

April 11, 2022: -Tencent is shutting down its video game streaming platform months after Beijing shut down a vast merger that would have made the Chinese internet giant a significant player in the area.

The service Penguin Esports will shut down from June 7, Tencent said, citing a business strategy change.

Like Amazon’s Twitch, Tencent’s Penguin Esports hosts live streams of professional gaming tournaments and another video game-related content. Tencent is one of the world’s most prominent online gaming players and is aggressively pushing into the area of professional gaming, also known as e-sports, for a potential new revenue stream.

The recent move is a blow to those ambitions and comes months after Chinese regulators blocked a critical merger that would have turned Tencent into one of the world’s most prominent game streaming players.

In 2020, Tencent proposed to merge Huya and DouYu, two live game streaming companies with substantial stakes. That would have valued the new company at nearly $6 billion, and Tencent planned to move its Penguin Esports brand under the combined entity.

But in the previous year, Chinese regulators blocked the deal over antitrust concerns.

Tencent said it would stop the latest user registration on Penguin Esports from Thursday. On June 7, the app will be removed from app stores, and its servers will stop operating.

Tencent keeps investing in areas like e-sports. Still, regulators have also tightened gaming regulations in China to protect against addiction among younger users, including cutting down the number of times kids under 18 can play online and freezing approvals of new titles.

That is weighing on Tencent, which reported its slow quarterly revenue growth in the fourth quarter of last year.

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Tencent is shutting down its rival to Amazon’s Twitch