Chinese e-sports video streaming app Douyu has been taken down from the Chinese iOS app store. The news comes just one day after “WeChat rival” Bullet Messenger was removed from the iOS App Store on October 9.
Bullet stated yesterday that the reason behind the removal was that certain content provided by its partner was reported for possible copyright violations. However, the fast-rising messaging app which gained attention after topping China’s iOS App Store chart soon after its launch in August has faced complaints over loose security settings and for spreading vulgar content. In the meantime, Bullet has been restored to the Chinese version of App Store and is again available for download.
Douyu is still available on the mainstream Android stores, but only in a stripped-down version that allows users to view but not upload videos. In addition, the pared-down app doesn’t allow viewers to tip streamers.
Users started noticing Douyu’s absence from China’s iOS store as early as October 3, Securities Daily reports. As of yesterday, however, the US-based Apple store still allowed downloads of the original app.
In response to the disappearance, an official Douyu account on a chat forum states that: “we are actively coordinating, please wait patiently for [the app] to go online again. The Android app can be downloaded via QR code on the official site.”
Douyu customer service personnel confirmed with TechNode that the company is working to get the app up again, but was not able to provide a timeline or further details.
The news comes at a bad time for the Tencent-backed company, which was reportedly gearing up for a US IPO later this year. The move would have followed in the footsteps of live-streaming competitor Huya, which was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in May.
Douyu’s takedown from the China iOS store comes as China continues to tighten online content curbs.
Earlier this year, popular apps such as Toutiao, Kuaishou, Bilibili, and Phoenix News were taken down over various periods of times for rectification and cleaning up of content deemed “inappropriate” by the state. In the interlude, multiple apps released stripped-down versions similar to Douyu’s current Android option, allowing users to view but not upload content.
A total of 46 apps on 21 app stores were removed in Q1 2018, according to data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. In September, the government launched a new clean-up campaign directed specifically at live-streaming, further raising the bar for online content providers in China.
This article was updated October 10, 2018, to add that Bullet Messenger is again available on Apple’s App Store.