Twitch Slapped With Hefty Fine After Withdrawing Services From South Korea

twitch South Korea

Last year, popular live-streaming platform Twitch decided to withdraw services from South Korea citing “exorbitant” operating costs.

But as it turns out, pulling out of the Korean market has ended up costing Twitch dearly.

Why Did Twitch Leave South Korea?

Last year, Twitch decided to withdraw services from South Korea due to excessive operating costs associated with bandwidth prices in the country.

Before fully leaving, the company had reduced maximum streaming quality from 1080p to 720p to cut costs.

Ultimately, Twitch determined the Korean market was too expensive to operate sustainably.

Hit With a $327K Fine

Ironically, Twitch’s move to save money by exiting South Korea has ended up being extremely costly.

According to a recent Korea Times article, the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) hit Twitch with a nearly $327,000 fine for violating Korean telecommunications law.

The hefty fine stems mainly from Twitch blocking Korean users’ access to VODs after withdrawing services.

The KCC determined this undermined the interests of local users.

There was also an additional fine for allegedly failing to implement adequate systems to prevent the distribution of illegal footage.

Open Ground for Other Streaming Platforms

Since Twitch’s departure, competitors like YouTube, Kakao’s, and AfreecaTV have swooped in to take over the Korean live-streaming market.

Given Twitch’s dominant position globally, it’s unlikely they’ll return to Korea anytime soon considering the high infrastructure expenses imposed by Korean regulations.

The market is now up for grabs by alternatives.

Source: Insider Gaming

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