Did China Just Block the “Game of Thrones” Finale Because of the Trade War?

Game of Thrones' season 8 finale has not emerged in China despite the promise of it via Tencent's paid VIP subscription service, sparking outrage among fans

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9:01 PM HKT, Mon May 20, 2019 1 mins read

“We’re very sorry, but due to a media transmission issue, episode 6 can not be uploaded on schedule”. So goes a message on Chinese streaming giant Tencent’s dedicated Game of Thrones page, where Chinese fans have been flocking this morning in the hopes of seeing the conclusion of the epic HBO show’s eighth and final season.

Tencent had promised episodes would be released by 9am every Monday in China as the hit show wrapped up its run in the US, but by evening the finale was still yet to appear. The arrangement had already proven controversial after episode one came in at 6 minutes shorter in China, but at least viewers in the country got to see it. Now, the “delay” has left Chinese fans feeling completely deprived, with many turning their ire on Tencent on social media — all while attempting to dodge spoilers.


Exactly what has caused the “delay” is unclear, though it’s led some GoT fanatics to fear the final episode may never make it to one of China’s leading streaming services. (Not that that would necessarily deprive Chinese fans entirely; there have been numerous pirated versions of the show circulating online as we noted in the article linked above.)

Reception to Tencent’s announcement has not been sympathetic on Chinese social media.

Tencent game of thrones china

Not a lot of translation needed here.

game of thrones china tencent got season 8

“This action is really… So many people paid for VIP accounts because of this, and then we cannot see the last episode…”

hbo tencent china game of thrones

“No time to censor the content?”

In a week when State broadcaster CCTV6 made headlines for replacing its normal programming with a slew of anti-US war films, some have even wondered whether there was a broader narrative at play…

game of thrones season 8 trade war china

“Is this because of the Trade War?”

Oh well, in the meantime perhaps Chinese GoT fans can just play the Tencent-developed game? Oh wait….

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