China Trade War to Blame for GoT Finale Cancelation in China - HBO

Brenda Watkins
May 22, 2019

Tencent, the Chinese internet juggernaut whose video platform owns the streaming rights to the HBO series in the country, shocked viewers Monday morning when it announced a delay in posting the American show's eagerly anticipated finale "due to a media transmission problem".

China has accused the United States government of having "extravagant expectations" for a trade deal, according to a Reuters report.

Because China Standard Time is 12 hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time, the HBO show's simulcast would air at 9 a.m.in China.

"Dear users, we regret to inform you that the sixth episode of the eighth season of Game of Thrones will not go online at the intended time due to media transfer issues", Tencent's Weibo post reads. "We will notify you of another broadcasting time".

Tencent Video subscribers now pay 198 yuan ($28.64) a year to access the platform, but the price of missing the finale in real-time cost more to some. Others were suspicious about the delay and wondered if the U.S. -China trade war was at fault.

A Song of Coffee and Water: "Game of Thrones" leaves plastic bottle in shot during finale The yearlong trade war between China and the United States has escalated in recent weeks, with President Donald Trump raising tariffs on Chinese goods worth $200 billion earlier this month.

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"All those paying members and their trust, and this is how you repay them", another person wrote.

So far, Tencent has not provided an update of when the finale will be shown.

US and China have been embroiled in a trade standoff that escalated earlier this month when President Trump increased tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25 percent.

It's unclear whether or when the finale will be available for the show's viewers in China, but by the looks of social media, Tencent Video, which reports 89 million customers, will see a decline in renewed subscriptions if users keep their promises.

The series is widely popular among Chinese viewers despite some episodes being heavily edited to exclude scenes showing sex and violence.

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