The Game of Thrones finale was divisive to say the least, and many fans have taken to social media to air their grievances. However, as the hosts of Game of Thrones enthusiasts across the globe mourn the end of the beloved HBO drama, fans in China have yet to gain access to the series finale.
Tencent Video, the streaming website which has the online broadcasting rights to the series in China, intended to air the episode at 9AM on Monday. However, an hour before the expected release, the company's official Weibo account released a statement announcing that the episode's broadcasting would be delayed, according to Reuters.
Tencent reportedly claimed the delay was due to a "media transmission problem" and failed to provide another air date or additional information. However, in a statement to the Wall Street Journal, an HBO spokesperson said that the central government in Beijing prohibited Tencent from airing the episode, citing the US-China trade war. Game of Thrones fans were expectedly outraged over their inability to watch the series finale, as the show's fanbase in China is as established as it is across the globe.
Donald Trump's administration has been waging a trade war against China for approximately a year, culminating in failed trade negotiations that strained the economic relationship between the two countries. However, the president further heightened tensions when he signed an executive order last week barring U.S. companies from selling equipment to or buying products from China's largest telecommunications company—Huawei.