This article originally appeared on ABACUS One day last week, millions of people who used to play live trivia games in China just couldn’t get their fix anymore -- because the games suddenly stopped. Just before Chinese New Year’s Eve, 17 trivia game makers were “invited for a conversation” by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Film and Television and told to clean up their act. It slammed the brakes on one of China’s hottest mobile trends. More than a dozen online trivia games sprung up in a month, following the template set by HQ Trivia in the US: Multiple choice questions asked by a live-streamed video host, with cash prizes for the winners. The most popular games attracted millions of daily active users. The shutdown came after state media published a series of pieces criticizing the games for “ attracting eyeballs and traffic with abnormally high prizes ” and “ confusing junk information with knowledge ”. Standalone trivia apps are still operating... but without trivia. In Cheese Superman, developed by live streaming company Yingke, trivia was replaced by mahjong -- the famous Chinese tile game. Live streaming app Huajiao’s trivia game Million Winner and short video app Xigua Video’s Million Heroes kept their quiz sections, but with a message saying “The first season has ended.” But there are suggestions that trivia isn’t dead. Microblogging site Weibo ran a series of games during state-run channel CCTV’s New Year’s Gala -- one of the most-watched TV shows in the world . And the state order suggests that companies can operate trivia games… as long as they play by the rules. That means they need to have a license, “promote core socialist values” and “stop spreading information that is against state law and regulations." For more insights into China tech, sign up for our tech newsletters , subscribe to our Inside China Tech podcast , and download the comprehensive 2019 China Internet Report . Also roam China Tech City , an award-winning interactive digital map at our sister site Abacus .