Streaming games online is big business. Proof? Playing Fortnite was making American streamer Tyler "Ninja" Blevins more than US$500,000 a month earlier this year.

The same thing is happening in China. Haitao “Haishi” Jiang made more than US$1.5 million in less than a year on streaming platform Huya by playing Honor of Kings, known as Arena of Valor in the West.

But apparently, despite that mind-bogglingly fat paycheck, the then 19-year-old had other ideas. He decided to switch over to rival streaming platform Douyu.

Huya then took it to court, which issued a US$7 million fine to Haishi for knowingly violating its contract with Huya. Haishi tried to appeal the court’s ruling but was unsuccessful.

Honor of King is a mobile game, but Haishi streams himself playing with a mouse. (Picture:Bilibili)

Unlike in the US where Twitch is undisputed market leader, China’s streaming business is still seeing a number of companies ferociously battling for more eyeballs. It was reported last year that China had more than 100 live-streaming platforms.

But now the live-streaming market is increasingly looking to be a race between three major players: Huya, Douyu and Panda TV.

As a result, these companies have become very big. For instance, soon after Huya went public in New York this May, rival Douyu was reported to be planning an IPO.

And don’t sleep on Panda TV, the company founded by China’s most eligible bachelor Wang Sicong, as it also claims to be looking at an IPO this year.