Authorities in several provinces in China, including Beijing, Hunan, Zhejiang, and Hebei, are reportedly reinforcing inspection over online games (in Chinese) which distort history and spread explicit content, as reported by state media Xinhua.
The reinforcement came after the state’s plan jointly released last month by China’s publicity department, cyberspace management department and other relevant ministries to combat explicit and inappropriate online games. The statement also pointed out that many games lack cultural connotation as the market scale continues to grow.
The inspection this time focuses more on reviewing and removing games that “distort history, defame heroic figures, or spread deviant values.” Also, the move underscores a broader state’s plan to regulate content. WeChat, for instance, recently announced that its media platform will regulate user’s information dissemination behavior and those trying to conduct marketing activities by distorting China and CCP history.
Many popular online games are rumored to be included on the authorities’ list (in Chinese) for further inspection, including games like NetEase’s Onmyoji (“阴阳师” in Chinese), female-targeted romance game Miracle Nikki (“奇迹暖暖” in Chinese), and Tencent’s Contra Comeback (our translation, “魂斗罗：归来” in Chinese). These games are said to spread violent, exotic, and gambling content.
The state’s move might also get in the way of Tencent’s smash-hit game Honour of Kings. The game reportedly has over 100 million daily active users, and was criticized by state media last year for “spreading negative energy.” The game, also known as Kings of Glory and Strike of Kings, has already debuted in Europe and is available in the US under the name Arena of Valor.