Business & Economy

Twitch to leave South Korea in 2024 due to high operating costs

Seoul, Dec 6 (EFE).- Popular livestreaming platform Twitch will leave South Korea early next year due to high operating costs in the country, the company said Wednesday.

CEO Dan Clancy said in a statement that the cost of maintaining Twitch operations in the country were “prohibitively expensive” and it would close on Feb. 27.

Last year the company suspended its video-on-demand service in South Korea amid controversy over network usage fees in the country by other global platforms, including Netflix.

Local internet service providers accuse foreign services of causing traffic disruptions to domestic networks, requiring them to pay additional costs.

Clancy said the company has done “everything possible” to reduce costs to maintain its operations in Korea, including testing various streaming models, but that its network fees “are still 10 times more expensive than in most other countries.”

“Twitch has been operating in Korea at a significant loss, and unfortunately there is no pathway forward for our business to run more sustainably in that country,” said Clancy, before pointing out that leaving the country is a “unique situation,” in an apparent reassuring message for the rest of the company’s subsidiaries.

“Twitch streamers in Korea have devoted significant time and effort into building their communities, and we plan to help these communities find new homes — even if it’s regrettably not on Twitch,” he said.

“We will work to help Twitch streamers in Korea move their communities to alternative livestreaming services in Korea. We are also reaching out to several of these services to help with the transition and will communicate with impacted streamers as those discussions progress.”

Clancy concluded by noting South Korea’s “special role” in the international eSports community. EFE


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