Roblox discontinues China app LuoBuLesi and says another version will be created

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US video game platform Roblox has removed its Chinese app, which has fueled its expansion efforts in the country, and told Reuters that it was part of “a series of important temporary measures” while it was creating its next version.

The LuoBuLesi app, which Roblox launched in July in partnership with a subsidiary of Tencent Holdings, was retired on December 8 and disappeared from app stores on the mainland. The app now shows users a message when they log in, thanking them for using the trial version.

The app’s relevance to Roblox’s expansion in China was prominently discussed in the company’s March listing for its New York listing, which valued the gaming platform at nearly $ 30 billion.

A Roblox spokesperson told Reuters late Thursday that the move was necessary as it creates the “next version of LuoBuLeSi,” but didn’t say when the app would return.

“We always knew that building a compelling platform in China was an iterative process and we are grateful for the support of LuoBuLeSi users and our global developer community,” said a Roblox spokesman.

“It is critical that we make the necessary investments now, including investments in our data architecture, to realize our long-term vision.”

Tencent did not respond to a request for comment.

Roblox’s platform is known for its virtual world technology popularly known today as the “Metaverse”. The LuoBuLeSi platform is separate from the global version of Roblox and enables users to create and play games as well as participate in virtual “events”.

Several users complained on social media that they didn’t know it was a test. According to Sensor Tower, a data analytics company, the app has been downloaded 1.7 million times.

LuoBuLeSi secured the necessary licenses for operation in China from the supervisory authorities at the end of 2020.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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