Millions of Game of Thrones fans in China who eagerly awaited the finale of the series were left disappointed as the final episode was scrapped hours before airtime amid ongoing trade tensions with the US.
Tencent, the Chinese carrier of the popular fantasy show produced by HBO, blamed technical difficulties for its failure to deliver the finale to viewers in China.
“We will notify you of another broadcasting time,” the company told fans on the social media website Weibo after claiming there had been “transmission medium problems” stopping the stream on Tencent’s video service.
However, HBO said the show had been cancelled as a result of the trade war between the US and China, which has seen fresh pressure in recent weeks.
The Trump administration has accused China of halting progress on trade negotiations, resulting in 25pc tariffs on $200bn worth of Chinese goods.
The US has piled fresh pressure on China after hitting telecoms giant Huawei with sanctions that threaten to disrupt the global supply chain of the company.
The delay in viewing the final episode of Game of Thrones is the latest sign of just how strained the relations between the US and China have become and how the spillover from the trade war will be far-reaching.
Viewers of the popular long-running series, which has been seen 550m times on Tencent Video since the final season’s first episode, took to social media to vent their frustrations about being unable to see the conclusion to all the action in Westeros.
Many demanded their fee to be returned, while other threatened to delete the app entirely, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The show had become a huge hit in China, and has reportedly been referenced by Chinese president Xi Jinping in meetings.