Roblox suspends service in China for 'major transit operations' - TechCrunch

1641723267 Roblox suspends service in China for major transit operations

On December 8, the Chinese version of Roblox LuoBuLeSi, published and operated by Tencent, suddenly shut down its server five months after its launch on iOS and Android.

Many users, surprisingly, turned to Chinese social media to complain about the short notice. What users were actually playing was a "trial delete version of archive," LuoBuLeSi said in a statement. But one user commented: "Have you seen a test game that allows users to add money to their accounts?"

“Last year we launched Roblox China also known as LuoBuLeSi with the vision to build a immersive virtual world of 3D experiences in China that we have been testing and reporting on the way , ”A Roblox spokesman said in a statement to TechCrunch.

"We have always known that building a strong platform in China is a iterative process, and we are grateful for the support of LuoBuLeSi users and our global developer community."

Tencent has not responded to TechCrunch's request for comment.

In May 2022, Roblox and Tencent announced a joint venture in which the former controls 51% and Tencent with 49%, a rare settlement in which a foreign entity commands the majority the Chinese joint venture. In July 2022, LuoBuLeSi released a trial version of Android, which clearly stated that it would clear user archives when the time expired.

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    Data infrastructure

    Roblox 's special offer may have given him more time to gain regulatory green light. LuoBuLeSi is paid an angle aimed at education at first glance. But last year, China imposed a major ban on the private education sector. It was also expected that the higher restriction in China on children's play time would prevent LuoBuLeSi from being open to young players.

    It may also be surprising how China's new data rules have affected foreign internet service operators in the country. Yahoo and LinkedIn, in response to strict cross - border data transfer regulations in China, will not be the last foreign companies to withdraw their services from the mass market.

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    The Roblox statement gives some insight:

    “It is vital that we now make the necessary investments, including investments in our data architecture, to realize our long-term vision for LuoBuLeSi. We have identified the need for a number of important temporary actions as we build the next version of LuoBuLeSi. ”

    To publish in China, Overseas Games typically seeks a local partner to help with marketing, circulation and, perhaps most importantly, regulatory compliance and application for game licenses.

    An alliance like Tencent would ensure that the plays created by LuoBuLeSi users would not go according to Chinese authorities. LuoBuLeSi is remote from the global Roblox platform and does not have the same repository of games or collection of players. As a result, many Chinese users have jumped over to the global version via VPNs, which is common where the Chinese edition of a globally popular title is subject to censorship.

    LuoBuLeSi is nonetheless a gateway for many developers, both at home and abroad, to crack the Chinese steep gaming market. There is no doubt that setting a date for the "official" release leaves many creators impatient. The platform had generated 1.7 million installations in the China App Store before it was removed on December 8, according to app analysis firm Sensor Tower.

    "When we launched LuoBuLeSi last year, we were taking the long view in China of building a platform that delivers a robust metaverse experience," a Roblox spokesman said. "That goal has not changed."

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