Game of Thrones’ series finale streamed around the world last night, giving fans closure just about everywhere — except China.
Thousands of Chinese users who rely on streaming platform Tencent Video were outraged to discover they couldn’t access the most recent episode. A message that read “transmission medium problems” appeared in lieu of the finale, according to The Wall Street Journal. An HBO spokesperson told the Journal the network had no issue with transmitting the episode, but Tencent was restricted from airing it by the Chinese government because of ongoing trade disputes with the United States.
Fans in China not being able to stream Game of Thrones is just another example of how increasingly tense the trade disputes between the United States and China have become over the last few weeks. On top of Game of Thrones’ finale not streaming, this weekend also saw Google pull Huawei’s Android license in response to an order from the US Commerce Department. The department names a number of companies that must secure American government approval to buy technology from US brands.
China has accused the US government of having “extravagant expectations” for a trade deal, according to a Reuters report. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang insisted that trade talks failed between the United States and China because the US attempted “to achieve unreasonable interests through extreme pressure.” Trump, on the other hand, said that it was China’s fault the deal fell through, telling Fox News in an interview that aired Sunday that the United States and China “had a very strong deal, we had a good deal, and they changed it. And I said, ‘That’s okay, we’re going to tariff their products’.”
Fans not being able to watch Game of Thrones may not seem like a major issue compared to other fallouts from the United States’ trade negotiations with China, but it’s an example of how everyday people are being affected. Game of Thrones is one of the most popular shows in China, with the season being viewed more than “550 million times on Tencent Video during the most recent season,” the Journal reported. The episode did make its way to piracy sites, but it’s still unavailable to stream via Tencent Video.