Tencent’s Penguin Sports streaming service shuts down after China blocks integration

Chinese technology giant Tencent will shut down its game streaming platform, less than a year after authorities blocked a merger that would strengthen its drive with Amazon’s Twitch.

Beijing has stepped up scrutiny over big technology, launched a major crackdown on some of the sector’s biggest names, while tight gaming controls for minors have also hit the gaming market.

Tencent’s services, Penguin Sports, have stopped new user registration and in-app purchases and will discontinue all services from June 7, the firm said in a statement on Thursday.

The decision comes after China’s financial regulator blocked the integration of the country’s two largest video game live-streaming sites in July.

The planned merger of Huya and Douyu, a live streaming service, could bring the combined market share of the combined platforms to 90 percent – and Penguin Sports would be transferred to the merged entity.

The tie-up will also give Tencent a majority stake in the consortium with transactions worth about $ 6 billion (approximately Rs 45,535 crore).

Tencent said the move was “due to a change in business development strategy”, adding that it would compensate users with coupons in other games.

In the fourth quarter of 2021, Tencent’s domestic gaming revenue grew one percent.

The total time spent on games by minors also dropped 88 percent a year, the agency said.

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