Google leads $120-mn investment in Chinese live-stream mobile game platform Chushou

Alphabet Inc's Google has led a $120-million investment in Chinese live-stream mobile game platform Chushou, the two companies said today, as the US firm seeks to make new inroads into China where its search engine is blocked.

Chushou, founded in 2015 is an online e-sports platform where users can live stream their mobile phone games; the service has around 8 million streamers and 250,000 live streams a day, the companies said in a statement.

Google said it would help the Chinese firm expand its services to target more overseas viewers.

Live stream gaming platforms are a popular form of e-sports in China, and form part of a growing industry that involves competitive game play viewed by spectators. In 2015, Google's YouTube launched a specialised service for live stream gamers, which captured a large chunk of the global market.

The companies did not reveal the size of Google's stake or the valuation of Chushou following the round.

The investment comes as Google's second in a Chinese startup. The search engine giant has been blocked from entering the Chinese market by censorship authorities since 2012.

The US giant acquired a minority stake in Beijing-based artificial intelligence (AI) startup Mobvoi in 2015 as part of a $75 million fundraising round.

According to a joint statement by the companies, Google is joining existing investors in a Series D funding round, in which Chushou raised around $120 million. The value of Google's investment has not been disclosed, however, Chinese media have reported it as $77 million.

''Chushou has built an impressive platform, with a dedicated and quickly growing base of content creators and consumers, and smart expansion plans. We're excited to be supporting Chushou through this investment to help them execute those plans, bringing great mobile gaming content to more people around the world,'' said Frank Lin, Google's head of corporate development in North Asia, according to the statement.