Google's search engine might be banned in China, but it's been finding more and more ways to establish its presence in the country. Its latest effort is leading a $120 million investment in Chushou, a Chinese online e-sports platform that specializes in mobile game livestreams. The website is already pretty big, with 8 million users and as many as 250,000 livestreams a day, and it's unclear what percentage of total funding came from Google. According to CNBC, though, the big G will help the platform grow even bigger, more international, in order to make it look more inviting to potential users outside China.
So far, the number of mobile gamers in China is almost double the number of people in the US, so Chushou definitely has the potential to become a proper Twitch competitor. Livestreaming is immensely popular in China, as well -- Chushou rival Douyu TV, for instance, says it has around 30 million daily active users. That makes Google's new ally look tiny in comparison.
Back in 2015, Google also joined a $75 million funding round for Beijing-based AI startup Mobvoi. It's a small company, but it's already released an Assistant-capable smart home device and a decent $100 Android Wear smartwatch. Last year, Google DeepMind's AlphaGo competed against top Chinese Go players in the province of Zhejiang, and the company also opened an AI lab in Beijing.