(Reuters) — Alphabet’s Google has joined an funding in Chinese live-stream cell sport platform Chushou that brings the startup’s whole funding to $120 million, because the U.S. agency eyes new inroads to China the place its search engine is blocked.

Founded in 2015, Chushou is a web-based e-sports platform the place customers can dwell stream their cell phone video games. The service has roughly 8 million streamers and 250,000 dwell streams a day, mentioned the businesses in an announcement on Friday.

Google will assist the Chinese agency increase its providers to focus on extra abroad viewers, it mentioned.

Live stream gaming platforms are a well-liked type of e-sports in China, a part of a rising business that includes aggressive sport play seen by spectators. Google’s YouTube launched a specialised service for dwell stream players in 2015, capturing a big chunk of the worldwide market.

The corporations didn’t reveal the dimensions of Google’s stake or the valuation of Chushou after the spherical.

It is Google’s second funding in a Chinese startup lately, because the search engine big appears for brand new avenues into the Chinese market the place its flagship search engine has been blocked by censorship authorities since 2012.

The U.S. agency took a minority stake in Beijing-based synthetic intelligence (AI) startup Mobvoi in 2015 as a part of a $75 million fundraising spherical.

Google’s incapacity to entry China’s giant inhabitants of younger, tech-savvy web customers poses a problem for the agency whose search engine has expanded to develop into the world’s largest and most ubiquitous.

Last yr the agency started focusing on China as a possible market to increase its AI choices. In December, it launched a synthetic intelligence lab in China, and in May it held a Go match between its AI challenge Alpha Go and Chinese Go champion Ke Jie. The match was extremely publicized in worldwide media however was not broadly coated in native media.

Last month, Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai additionally spoke at a high-profile occasion in China organized by the Cyberspace Administration of China, which oversees web censorship within the nation.

“Chushou has constructed a powerful platform, with a devoted and rapidly rising base of content material creators and shoppers, and good enlargement plans,” mentioned Frank Lin, who oversees company growth for Google in North Asia, within the assertion.

Google mentioned it joins current buyers Qiming Venture, Shunwei Capital and Alpha X Capital within the newest spherical.

(This story corrects first paragraph to say Google was not the lead investor; and that the funding is Google’s second lately, not second-ever, within the sixth paragraph)

(Reporting by Cate Cadell; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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This article sources info from VentureBeat