[Update] One of America’s biggest gaming companies is acting as China’s censor | blitzchung – Vietnamnhanvan

blitzchung: นี่คือโพสต์ที่เกี่ยวข้องกับหัวข้อนี้

Activision Blizzard, one of America’s biggest gaming companies, just bowed to Chinese censorship in a disturbing way: suspending a professional player of Hearthstone, its digital card game, over a statement supporting the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests.

The offending commentary from Chung Ng Wai, a Hong Kong-based player who goes by the name “Blitzchung,” came during an official interview on Sunday held after he won a match in the Hearthstone Grandmasters tournament, the highest level of competition in the game.

Chung said “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time” — a protest slogan in the city — while wearing goggles and a face mask, items commonly donned by protestors to conceal their identity. The protests, which began over an extradition law, have morphed into a broad-based demand to protect the semi-autonomous city’s democratic political system from mainland China’s attempts to exert control over it.

On Tuesday, Blizzard came down hard on Chung. In an official statement on Hearthstone’s blog, the company announced that it would be suspending Chung for a year, forcing him to forfeit thousands of dollars in prize money from 2019 and firing the casters (commentators) who conducted the interview.

This is a big deal.

Blizzard, who created (among other things) World of Warcraft, is a massive company. It brought in about $7.5 billion in revenue in 2018. Like the NBA, which has rebuked the Houston Rockets’ general manager over a pro-Hong Kong tweet, Blizzard is not merely trying to operate within the confines of Chinese censorship but acting as its agent.

The non-Chinese Hearthstone player base is furious with Blizzard; the game’s subreddit is full of longtime players vowing to quit the game in protest. Count me as one of them.

I’ve been playing Hearthstone daily for about two years, including spending some money on cards and reaching the top tier of the game’s competitive ladder (the Legend ranks). But now I’m done, both with Hearthstone and any other Activision Blizzard product, unless it reinstates Chung and the casters.

The case for boycotting Blizzard — and other US companies who act as Chinese censors

Blizzard’s argument for suspending Chung hinges on an alleged rule violation, specifically Section 6.1 of the official Hearthstone Grandmasters rules. The rule prohibits “engaging in any act that, in Blizzard’s sole discretion, brings you into public disrepute, offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages Blizzard image.”

The idea here seems to be that supporting pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong has brought Chung into “public disrepute” in mainland China, justifying his suspension. The actual motivation is most likely crasser: Blizzard’s userbase is declining, and it is counting on expansion in the very large Chinese market to reverse the downward momentum.

“The gaming giant … is badly in need of a stimulus after its market value declined by a quarter over the past twelve months,” the financial news company AlphaStreet reported in January. “Blizzard’s strategy of taking the China route for regaining the lost strength is currently followed by many American tech companies.”

Blizzard’s userbase remains overwhelmingly non-Chinese. According to the company’s most recent financial data, from June 2019, the entire Asia-Pacific region makes up a scant 12 percent of its revenue. Since that region includes large gaming markets in places like Japan and South Korea, mainland China’s clout is smaller than you think — and pales in comparison to the Americas (55 percent) and Europe/the Middle East (33 percent).

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So while Blizzard may have a lot of ground to gain in the Chinese market, a significant hit to its revenue in the United States and other liberal democracies would be a massive threat. Blizzard’s fans in those countries have a lot of leverage over the company.

And, in this case, they’re justified in using it.

Navigating the Chinese market is difficult for major companies and requires some necessary tradeoffs. Blizzard has changed the art in World of Warcraft to comply with Chinese cultural norms and strictures, notably cutting out some goriness and skeletons. That’s maybe not ideal, but at least a defensible choice for a company that has a clear financial stake in the Chinese market.

Censoring a professional player for expressing support for the democracy movement in Hong Kong — and seizing his money — is way over the line.

It isn’t merely adjusting a cosmetic part of the product to fit a particular market; it’s actively participating in the suppression of political speech on behalf of core liberal values. Blizzard is throwing its lot in with an authoritarian state, acting as an international agent of its repressive apparatus in opposition to fundamental human rights.

An organized boycott targeting Blizzard is also a relatively rare opportunity for ordinary citizens around the world to help out the Hong Kong protestors working to protect their democratic system.

It’s hard to do much for the brave people taking to the streets from thousands of miles away, but international consumers do have leverage over international corporations. Punishing Blizzard for its behavior could help send a signal to other companies that acting as agents of the Chinese state carries a cost and that they need to think carefully before throwing Hong Kong under the bus.

Blizzard’s censorship of Chung is hardly the only case of a US company acting on behalf of China. Just yesterday, the NBA issued a statement distancing itself from Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets, after he tweeted support for the Hong Kong protestors. The team is reportedly considering firing him in order to placate Chinese authorities and protect NBA investments there.

The league is facing a bipartisan political backlash as a result; Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and several Democratic presidential candidates have condemned the league’s actions.

But Blizzard, less well known among the American political class, isn’t facing the same amount of high-level political condemnation. For now, it seems it’s up to Blizzard’s users to show the company that its actions have consequences.

[Update] One of America’s biggest gaming companies is acting as China’s censor | blitzchung – Vietnamnhanvan

Activision Blizzard, one of America’s biggest gaming companies, just bowed to Chinese censorship in a disturbing way: suspending a professional player of Hearthstone, its digital card game, over a statement supporting the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests.

The offending commentary from Chung Ng Wai, a Hong Kong-based player who goes by the name “Blitzchung,” came during an official interview on Sunday held after he won a match in the Hearthstone Grandmasters tournament, the highest level of competition in the game.

Chung said “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time” — a protest slogan in the city — while wearing goggles and a face mask, items commonly donned by protestors to conceal their identity. The protests, which began over an extradition law, have morphed into a broad-based demand to protect the semi-autonomous city’s democratic political system from mainland China’s attempts to exert control over it.

On Tuesday, Blizzard came down hard on Chung. In an official statement on Hearthstone’s blog, the company announced that it would be suspending Chung for a year, forcing him to forfeit thousands of dollars in prize money from 2019 and firing the casters (commentators) who conducted the interview.

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This is a big deal.

Blizzard, who created (among other things) World of Warcraft, is a massive company. It brought in about $7.5 billion in revenue in 2018. Like the NBA, which has rebuked the Houston Rockets’ general manager over a pro-Hong Kong tweet, Blizzard is not merely trying to operate within the confines of Chinese censorship but acting as its agent.

The non-Chinese Hearthstone player base is furious with Blizzard; the game’s subreddit is full of longtime players vowing to quit the game in protest. Count me as one of them.

I’ve been playing Hearthstone daily for about two years, including spending some money on cards and reaching the top tier of the game’s competitive ladder (the Legend ranks). But now I’m done, both with Hearthstone and any other Activision Blizzard product, unless it reinstates Chung and the casters.

The case for boycotting Blizzard — and other US companies who act as Chinese censors

Blizzard’s argument for suspending Chung hinges on an alleged rule violation, specifically Section 6.1 of the official Hearthstone Grandmasters rules. The rule prohibits “engaging in any act that, in Blizzard’s sole discretion, brings you into public disrepute, offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages Blizzard image.”

The idea here seems to be that supporting pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong has brought Chung into “public disrepute” in mainland China, justifying his suspension. The actual motivation is most likely crasser: Blizzard’s userbase is declining, and it is counting on expansion in the very large Chinese market to reverse the downward momentum.

“The gaming giant … is badly in need of a stimulus after its market value declined by a quarter over the past twelve months,” the financial news company AlphaStreet reported in January. “Blizzard’s strategy of taking the China route for regaining the lost strength is currently followed by many American tech companies.”

Blizzard’s userbase remains overwhelmingly non-Chinese. According to the company’s most recent financial data, from June 2019, the entire Asia-Pacific region makes up a scant 12 percent of its revenue. Since that region includes large gaming markets in places like Japan and South Korea, mainland China’s clout is smaller than you think — and pales in comparison to the Americas (55 percent) and Europe/the Middle East (33 percent).

So while Blizzard may have a lot of ground to gain in the Chinese market, a significant hit to its revenue in the United States and other liberal democracies would be a massive threat. Blizzard’s fans in those countries have a lot of leverage over the company.

And, in this case, they’re justified in using it.

Navigating the Chinese market is difficult for major companies and requires some necessary tradeoffs. Blizzard has changed the art in World of Warcraft to comply with Chinese cultural norms and strictures, notably cutting out some goriness and skeletons. That’s maybe not ideal, but at least a defensible choice for a company that has a clear financial stake in the Chinese market.

Censoring a professional player for expressing support for the democracy movement in Hong Kong — and seizing his money — is way over the line.

It isn’t merely adjusting a cosmetic part of the product to fit a particular market; it’s actively participating in the suppression of political speech on behalf of core liberal values. Blizzard is throwing its lot in with an authoritarian state, acting as an international agent of its repressive apparatus in opposition to fundamental human rights.

An organized boycott targeting Blizzard is also a relatively rare opportunity for ordinary citizens around the world to help out the Hong Kong protestors working to protect their democratic system.

It’s hard to do much for the brave people taking to the streets from thousands of miles away, but international consumers do have leverage over international corporations. Punishing Blizzard for its behavior could help send a signal to other companies that acting as agents of the Chinese state carries a cost and that they need to think carefully before throwing Hong Kong under the bus.

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Blizzard’s censorship of Chung is hardly the only case of a US company acting on behalf of China. Just yesterday, the NBA issued a statement distancing itself from Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets, after he tweeted support for the Hong Kong protestors. The team is reportedly considering firing him in order to placate Chinese authorities and protect NBA investments there.

The league is facing a bipartisan political backlash as a result; Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and several Democratic presidential candidates have condemned the league’s actions.

But Blizzard, less well known among the American political class, isn’t facing the same amount of high-level political condemnation. For now, it seems it’s up to Blizzard’s users to show the company that its actions have consequences.


Blizzard Suspends Hearthstone Pro Player Blitzchung For Supporting Hong Kong


SOURCE 1: https://twitter.com/InvenGlobal/status/1181456519541514240
SOURCE 2: https://twitter.com/Slasher/status/1181442535962632193
SOURCE 3: https://twitter.com/czhihong/status/1181452540753235971
SOURCE 4: https://deadspin.com/thenbadoesntgiveafuckaboutpeople1838848207
SOURCE 5: https://nypost.com/2019/10/07/thenbasdisgracefulsubmissiontoitschineseoverlords/
SOURCE 6: https://playhearthstone.com/enus/esports/news/23179289/hearthstonegrandmastersasiapacificruling
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Blizzard Suspends Hearthstone Pro Player Blitzchung For Supporting Hong Kong

DawN vs blitzchung – Hearthstone Grandmasters Asia-Pacific – Week 7


DawN and blitzchung face off in Week 7, Day 1 of Hearthstone Grandmasters!
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DawN vs blitzchung - Hearthstone Grandmasters Asia-Pacific - Week 7

Bankyugi vs blitzchung | 2021 Hearthstone Grandmasters Asia-Pacific | Decider | Season 2 | Week 4


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Bankyugi vs blitzchung | 2021 Hearthstone Grandmasters Asia-Pacific | Decider | Season 2 | Week 4

blitzchung vs tom60229 – Division B – Hearthstone Grandmasters Asia-Pacific 2020 Season 1 – Week 7


blitzchung and tom60229 face off in AsiaPacific Division B Round Robin, Week 7, Day 3 of the Hearthstone Grandmasters 2020 Season 1!

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blitzchung vs tom60229 - Division B - Hearthstone Grandmasters Asia-Pacific 2020 Season 1 - Week 7

Blizzard [email protected]#!ed Up


Over the weekend, a Hearthstone player made headlines for protesting the Chinese government during a livestream.
At the time, Blizzard pulled the footage. But now? The player has been banned, his prize money has been taken away and Blizzard has also cut ties with the casters, who just happened to be on stream.
Written and Hosted by: Daniel Rosen (@Daniel_Rosen)
Edited by: Brian Van Huynh (@beevanhuynh)
Footage courtesy of:
Hong Kong Drone Footage
Courtesy: HoverUAVDrones
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pihWEw7cTLU\u0026t=53s

Hong Kong riot police face protesters blocking streets after violent weekend
Courtesy: Global News
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeUCzF6abR4\u0026feature=youtu.be\u0026t=6157

Why the NBA Is Facing a Difficult Choice in China | WSJ
Courtesy: Wall Street Journal
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUBk5YQP128

Blitzchung clip
Courtesy: Hearthstone esports via Inven Global
https://twitter.com/InvenGlobal/status/1180954142396710912

Who is Carrie Lam, the Leader of Hong Kong? | NYT News
Courtesy: The New York Times
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfpW9IEkCTk\u0026t=1s

DawN vs Blitzchung Hearthstone Grandmasters AsiaPacific S2 2019 Week 7
Courtesy: Hearthstone Esports
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7AhGrTBjZI\u0026t=1s

Here’s Why People in Hong Kong Are Terrified of Being Extradited to China
Courtesy: Vice News
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzzERglFgj8

Hong Kong a city on edge
Courtesy:CNA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuvOcdHugiA\u0026t=1407s

Mei images
Courtesy: reddit
https://www.reddit.com/r/HongKong/comments/dfbdfq/mei_knows_the_way_you_can_ban_players_and/?utm_content=timestamp\u0026utm_medium=post_embed\u0026utm_name=4b8afd25b9a1420e88e18924c2fbf78c\u0026utm_source=embedly\u0026utm_term=dfbdfq
https://www.reddit.com/r/HongKong/comments/dfc3xr/mei_the_force_be_with_hong_kong/?utm_content=timestamp\u0026utm_medium=post_embed\u0026utm_name=34e37756913947a3a097b399e9bd8c6f\u0026utm_source=embedly\u0026utm_term=dfc3xr
Music used under license from Associated Production Music LLC (”APM”).
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Blizzard F@#!ed Up

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