Video streaming service DisneyLife has been taken down in China following a request by Chinese regulators, reports the Wall Street Journal. The service launched there in a partnership with Alibaba five months ago.

A representative for Disney directed questions to Alibaba, while an Alibaba spokesperson said, “The DisneyLife service is undergoing a service upgrade and customers are being refunded.” The company gave the same statement to the WSJ.

This is the second time this month that Chinese regulators have reportedly requested the shutdown of an online entertainment service offered by a large American company. Last week, the New York Times said that Apple’s iTunes Movies and iBooks went offline after an order from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.

The two closures are notable because Apple and Disney count China as an important growth market and both companies have been given a relatively large amount of freedom there. China is currently Apple’s second largest source of iOS revenue, while Disney will open its first theme park in mainland China this June.

China recently implemented new rules that require foreign companies to find a domestic partner and gain government approval before selling entertainment content online. DisneyLife already has a domestic partner that is one of the biggest Internet companies in China, however, and its shuttering (even if temporary) underscores that no provider—no matter how popular or powerful—is immune from the demands of Chinese regulators.

LEAVE A REPLY