Comments flooded Tencent's social media accounts.
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.
Marbridge Consulting managing director Mark Natkin told the Journal that blocking pop culture phenomena like "Game of Thrones" is 'a good way to apply some additional pressure outside of the eye-for-an-eye tariffs framework'.
WTF?! The escalating trade war between the United States and China is having unexpected consequences, including, it seems, blocking the Game of Thrones finale in China.
Here's where it gets tense: At the time, Tencent stated they were having "transmission medium problems", even instructing viewers that they would notify them of "another broadcasting time". In retaliation, President Trump hiked tariffs on $200 billion of imports from 10 percent to 25 percent, to which China retaliated by targeting $60 billion worth of USA agricultural exports.
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Washington and Beijing have amped up their trade battle recently, with both sides imposing new tariffs on each other and President Donald Trump designating Chinese tech giant Huawei a national-security threat.
President Donald Trump's administration last week declared Chinese telecom giant Huawei a threat to national security and banned it from working with United States firms.
The Journal reports that Game of Thrones is one of the most popular shows in China, with the most recent season being watched over 550 million times on Tencent Video. "I specifically purchased the membership for the goal of avoiding spoilers".
According to the People's Daily Online, while it's hard to predict how the delay of the "Game of Thrones" finale will affect Tencent Video negatively, it's likely to affect membership renewal. The announcement was made an hour before the episode was scheduled to air 9 a.m. Monday in Beijing.
"All those paying members and their trust, and this is how you repay them", another person wrote.