China blocked the fourth attempt to label Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, prompting an army of enraged Indians and their Twitter followers to trend the #BoycottChineseProducts on Twitter.
Many users also have Chinese applications such as TikTok, UC Browser and PUBG uninstalled to express their anger at the move. Many people have also suggested that there should be a replication of global trade war on their social media sites, and as a responsible citizen people should not buy Chinese goods or endorse their services. Such move to boycott Chinese products is seen by Twitter followers as a mark of patriotism and zero tolerance of terrorism.
Despite the fact that Twitter has been plagued by Twitter users who buy real Twitter followers and Twitter likes, such incident serves to remind us how powerful the social media platform still is to disseminate information and express freedom of speech. The platform is still incredibly popular in India where it is not uncommon to find Indian users with hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers and Twitter likes. Twitter recently contemplated removing Twitter likes as a counter move against the bot activities.
“Let’s understand that India is China’s largest market for its industries, it can’t keep making profit from us and at the same time keep supporting terrorists that bleed us. It’s high time that @narendramodi imposes heavy duties on Chinese goods,” said Pawann Durani, a Twitter user with thousands of Twitter followers. The tweet gathered tons of Twitter likes and Twitter retweets in the hour after posting.
“#BoycottChineseProducts definitely it’s need of nation now, China more dangerous than Massood Azhar and “Baazwaa Gang”.
Twitch has joined Google, Twitter and Facebook on the China ban-wagon. The live streaming platform confirmed that it was blocked in China. Chinese authorities have not issued an official statement explaining why Twitch has been blocked.
Rise of Twitch Followers & Twitch Views in China
Shortly after enjoying a major bump in popularity among Chinese Twitch followers due to the Asian esports competition held in Jakarta, both the app and website were cut off. Two Twitch streamers were caught streaming the League of Legends (LoL) competition, a very popular game title in China.
Chinese LoL Twitch followers were frustrated by the block as many gaming tournaments are not streamed on state-run media CCTV in China. So the only way for the Chinese to watch the tournaments were through Twitch. What more, watching live streams on Twitch is completely free and there is no need to buy Twitch followers subscription. Twitch’s iOS app skyrocketed to top 3 free app before the ban.
Twitch Followers Buy Bits to Support Streamers
Twitch is a popular video streaming platform owned by Amazon. The platform allows fans to follow Twitch streamers and become their avid live stream viewers. Top Twitch streamers like Tyler “Ninja” Blevins enjoys celebrity status, even in China. Ninja live streams Fortnight and has more than 13 million Twitch followers, 400 million Twitch views and regularly breaks hundreds of thousands of live stream viewers when online. Ninja’s Twitch followers and Twitch views doubles his closest competitor Shroud, who has close to 6 million followers and close to 300 million Twitch views. A review of the top streamers with the most Twitch followers reveals Fortnite as the most popular game on Twitch.
Live streamers make money from Twitch when their live stream viewers and Twitch followers buy Bits, a virtual currency on Twitch. Twitch provides a share of the revenue that Twitch receives from Bits to participating streamers. Top Twitch live streams like Ninja makes millions from streaming on Twitch alone.
Google has been blocked in China for years now. Last year, news surfaced of Google working on Project Dragonfly, a censored version of Google for China. Dragonfly was intended to give Google a way back to the country, give it access to a huge user base, and give Chinese internet users access to more information. Since the report on Project Dragonfly, Google has received multiple bad press from the US.
US Government Forces Google to Review DragonFly
Yesterday, Google deny reports that it is still working on Project Dragonfly. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said last year that Google had “no plans” to launch the “right now” censored search engine. The carefully chosen words seems to indicate that it is forced upon Google to review its ambition for China. The US government and Google employees seems to be the culprit behind Google’s decision to review its relationship with China. Google employees went as far as protesting, Evidently, pressuring Google to review Dragonfly is more important than working on improving its algorithm or going after businesses who buy Google reviews (or even getting them for free!). Even Vice President Mike Pence also stepped in to tell Google to stop working on the project and teased that the search giant should focus on dealing with fake Google reviews instead before the FTC steps in.
Google Review on DragonFly Insufficient
However, Google employees are not convinced. In December, employees spotted about 500 changes to code related to Dragonfly. A month later, yet another 400 changes were made to the code, indicating to the employees that the entire project was still going on. They also scrutinized the company’s budgeting plans and found evidence that under the spending budget associated with Project Dragonfly about 100 workers were still being grouped.
Anna Bacciarelli, a technology review at Amnesty International, said, “[Google is] not only failing on its human rights responsibilities but ignoring the hundreds of Google employees, more than 70 human rights organizations, and hundreds of thousands of campaign supporters around the world who have all called on the company to respect human rights and drop Dragonfly.”
All in all, many are still left wondering if the Google review intention is indeed to cancel the DragonFly project and its China ambition or merely buying time to relaunch in China.