Popular mobile game Roblox aborts China service amid crackdown

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Popular virtual gaming platform Roblox has stopped its services in the Chinese market as it makes the necessary investments, including investments in data architecture, amid the country’s crackdown on Big Tech and Internet companies as part of a new data regime.

Roblox’s Chinese version LuoBuLeSi, published and operated by Tencent, has abruptly closed down its server five months after it launched on iOS and Android, reports TechCrunch.

“It is critical that we now make the necessary investments, including investments in our data architecture, in order to realise our long-term vision for LuoBuLeSi. We have determined that a number of important transitory actions are necessary as we build the next version of LuoBuLeSi,” the company said in a statement.

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

“We always knew that building a compelling platform in China is an iterative process, and we are thankful for the support of LuoBuLeSi users and our global developer community,” it added.

Roblox mobile game from Roblox Corporation ranked number 4 globally in 2021, having picked up $1.3 billion on mobile till December, a rise of 20.3 percent (on-year).

In May 2019, Roblox and Tencent announced a joint venture in which the former holds a 51 percent controlling stake and Tencent 49 percent.

In July 2020, LuoBuLeSi rolled out an Android test version.

The platform had generated 1.7 million installs in the China App Store prior to its removal on December 8, according to data from app analytics firm Sensor Tower.

Half of Roblox’s audience of more than 30 million daily users globally are kids under 13. The mobile game is immensely popular in India.

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