China’s cold war against Taiwan and Hong Kong continues, as they use American corporations to punish gamers for the geopolitical unrest. The latest antics come in the form of the World of Warcraft 15th Anniversary event that was originally scheduled to take place in Taiwan between October 18th and October 20th over the weekend, but was postponed indefinitely.
“We would like to inform you that we have extended the 15th anniversary celebration party of the world of Warcraft, which was scheduled for October 18th (Fri) to 20th (Fri). . We know that many players are looking forward to this event as much as we do. We are considering different options and will announce new event dates in the future.”
It seems fairly self-explanatory why the event was delayed.
Political unrest between China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong has led to a lot of punishments being doled out within the gaming sphere for those either showing support for Taiwan’s independence from China, or for gamers, casters, or companies attempting to show support for the Hong Kong protestors.
Blizzard in particular, for whom Tencent – a corporate arm of the PRC – has a small stake, has been especially aggressive in censoring or stifling the speech of its e-sports competitors as well as attempting to censor and alter events to avoid backlash from the Chinese State party.
The company has banned players and prevented employees from speaking out on the Hong Kong issue, as well as gone the extra mile to cancel public events like the Overwatch launch party in New York for the Nintendo Switch to avoid further backlash for supporting China’s censorship antics.
All of this kowtowing to China’s whims from American corporations has even led Congress to issue bipartisan letters of admonishment to get Blizzard to correct-course.
Given that the latest Taiwan event has been postponed until further notice, I get the feeling Blizzard doesn’t fear the American government as much as they do any potential backlash from the Chinese State party.
(Thanks for the news tip Guardian EvaUnit02)