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Tencent & Chinese Video Games Companies Rocked as State Media Calls Gaming “Spiritual Opium”

Bullet Club

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Tencent & Chinese Video Games Companies Rocked as State Media Calls Gaming “Spiritual Opium”​

Today is looking like a bad day for Chinese video games companies, with companies like Tencent (HKG:0700), NetEase (HKG:9999), Perfect World (SHE:002624), and more rocked by a steep decline in share price. This comes as a response to Economic Information Daily, a publication of Xinhua News Agency (state-run media) further raised issues with addiction to video games, likening them to "electronic drugs" and "spiritual opium" (Sources at the bottom of the page, this piece also includes opinions).

Tencent and Other Games Companies - a State of Emergency?​

Tencent is the biggest video games company in the world. Let that sink in first. I don't doubt for a second that some were aware of that fact. Still, few people think about Tencent until news of them buying complete ownership, or parts of companies like Sumo Digital, Stunlock Studios, Klei Entertainment, Funcom, Epic Games and many more. The thought then is that the company is dead or claims that people won't play the games anymore. Only they do, forgetting that Tencent has full or part ownership in Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI 82.76 -1.03%), Ubisoft (EPA:UBI), Paradox Interactive, Riot Games, Frontier Developments, Funcom, Discord, and more.

That is to say that this isn't a state of emergency for Tencent due to how widespread they are. In other companies, there should be undeniable concerns. The recent news stories within China signify that Beijing still has the tech and video games sector in its sights, and regulation is always imminent despite pledges to the alternative. This could drastically impact the bottom line of these companies and cause severe issues, with only the largest being relatively insulated due to international expansion.

However, I should point out that companies outside of China should be concerned from a financial perspective. Further restrictions and regulations could further restrict the limited number of video games allowed to be published - of which many of these games secure publishing from their part-owners, Tencent, NetEase, and more. China already institutes a time cap on those under 18 years of age, a maximum of 90 minutes per day on a weekday, 3 hours on a Saturday or Sunday, and a cap on how much these players can spend in-game, varying by age.

A State Onslaught and Image Nightmare​

If you don't know much about history, it would be a good time to read about The Opium Wars. It's pertinent, considering the line used by Chinese state media and the perception this will create for hundreds of millions of people. Shrinking this long, terrible page of history down, The Opium Wars were two periods of time where the British Empire (and France, in the second war) fought to import and addict a whole population to opium.

In the article by Electronic Information Daily (as reported by SCMP and the FT), there was a sizable complaint of internet addiction, as well as statements of video games being "spiritual opium worth hundreds of billions" and that no industry "can develop in a way that destroys a generation". Other concerns will likely come as old news to people in the west who heard much of Jack Thompson's whinings and other concerns or criticisms from the media. These concerns blame the overindulgence in games for short-sightedness and poor academic performance.

This comes as a harsh reminder to companies that regulatory bodies are watching, particularly ones in a country whose video games market is worth a staggering $43.1 billion (according to research firm Niko Partners).



Allow me to say now, at the risk of numerous (incorrect) bleatings of "socialist" or "communist", that I support some of these actions by Beijing. Specifically, I can't rail against companies for the many predatory actions taken - my Pokémon Unite review from yesterday being a prime example - and not agree when a government restricts these predatory actions and limits exactly how much a company and their game can lure somebody into spending. Do I agree with all actions taken? God no. Do I think some protections of the consumer need to be put in place? Certainly.

Would this world be a better place if all governments regulated in-game spending and started to criticise the predatory actions of video games like FIFA, Overwatch, Pokémon Unite, and more? Yes, it would be a better place. The industry would also be a better place. Best of all, children would not be getting lured into gambling by companies that seemingly do not care about the welfare of anything but their bottom line, no matter who they hurt along the way (staff and consumer alike).

One should also be reminded that this expands to far more than video games, though that is the focus of this piece. Vast swathes of the tech industry within china are falling foul of the same regulation and, at times, draconian oversight and interference. Tencent recently had to block new user registrations on the WeChat app while it complies with new laws. Other industries are also seeing major disruptions, such as the education sector. Across the board, it may also soon be difficult to sell shares abroad as Beijing has stated multiple times it intends to increase oversight on companies listing overseas, following the Didi Chuxing overseas listing controversy.

In keeping with video games, this may spell an increased shaky period for companies reliant on the Chinese market and revenue gained within the country. However, larger companies like Tencent will be hit but will not struggle due to their outside investments not being directly impacted by Beijing. Will this also impact the bottom line of western countries and their titles within China? Quite likely, particularly if Beijing becomes more acutely aware of the predatory actions of more than just mobile titles, likely as the console and premium PC title sectors are starting to take off.

Sources: Josh Ye, South China Morning Post and Financial Times.

Source: WCCFTech
 

longdi

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sadly the tier 3-5 cities are spending too much on gatcha nonsense, the lower income earners spending a higher portion of it on silly games, about time. 🤷‍♀️
 

longdi

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Unfortunately for the out of touch it's all "Videogames" to them.

Remember when the Netcafes were the demonized dungeons of sin, leading the youth astray?

i expect bloomberg to write their usual exaggerated hit piece and manipulate gaming stocks
 
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yurinka

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sadly the tier 3-5 cities are spending too much on gatcha nonsense, the lower income earners spending a higher portion of it on silly games, about time. 🤷‍♀️
China has over 1.4 Billion people, maybe most of them live in 3-5 tier cities and this explain why around 75% of the Chinese game revenue comes from there.

I'd assume the average revenue per user from tier 1-2 cities should be way higher than from the 3-5 tier cities.

On F2P, a huge majority of players never pay anything. This, mixed with the fact that they traditionally have low hardware requirements, make F2P very popular in poor countries and regions because they can afford them, unlike AAA games that require to pay to play, and to buy an expensive hardware to play on them.

Hey imprisoning your own citizens and harvesting their organs might be a greater violation of ones spirituality than say, oh I don't now, t-bagging in COD. Just a thought.
Do you really believe they do this? Sound like some crazy fake news propaganda.
 
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Tschumi

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I dig the historical bent of the term "spiritual opium", considering China's troubles with the drug
 
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Somewhat controversial take: I'm not 100% against the idea of limiting amount of gaming play-time for kids in and of itself. IMHO, kids these days spend way too much time on electronic devices, and too much time playing games. During the times kids should be spending together outside playing, getting physical exercise, exploring and using their own creativity instead of relying on others so they can shape their creative and intellectual/critical thinking skills, they're spending it too much on social media and gaming.

However, my belief is that it should be up to the parents or legal guardians of those kids/teens to set those terms for the household, and not give that power to an overbearing, totalitarian regime which the CCP essentially is. Why is the government making decisions for the household that the parents of that household should be doing themselves? That's the part where I dislike these initiatives, gives way too much power to the state.

And you better believe there are American lawmakers looking to emulate this (and other things like social credit; unfortunately certain recent events as terrible as they are, are giving them some cover to push for more draconian social credit-style systems) here in the U.S. It's bad enough they have screwed up the public education school system, but I feel they would take it a step further and attempt these time limits on all people, not just kids, in an effort to try monetizing/taxing citizens for extended play time. Probably with some selling hook of it cutting down on electricity bills and server traffic so it'd make sense for being more eco-friendly (even if they could accomplish this by actually making telecom and ISP companies clean up their act but nope, gotta find a way to make regular folks pay for the mistakes of mega-conglomerates I guess :/)

Do you really believe they do this? Sound like some crazy fake news propaganda.

Disney was literally confirmed to film parts of Mulan on the set of concentration camps holding Uhygir Muslims.
 
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yurinka

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Disney was literally confirmed to film parts of Mulan on the set of concentration camps holding Uhygir Muslims.
I think to film Mulan in one of these (in case they really exist and aren't a propaganda hoax) is as likely as USA allowing Chinese companies to film movies in the Guantanamo prision or in illegal prisions USA has in countries like Irak.

And even if it would be true that these camps exist and that they filmed there a part of Mulan, what is has to do with them supposedly emprisioning and human organ harvesting? Is there another hoax saying they harvest human organs with these Uhygir? I wouldn't believe it, I'd bet it's just more propaganda and that in case there's some organ trafficking mafia in China isn't related to the government at all.
 
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Genx3

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Ironically enough working conditions and pay in China is Spiritual Slavery....
 
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purvispisgah

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It would be interesting to live in a country that even pretended to care about the spiritual health of its people.
 

K2D

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The CCP aren't naive - while I'm certain they believe it's detrimental to China's economy and morale, they definetly see value in the industry.

Why should China have any qualms against pushing 'opium' to the rest of the world?
 

daywarf

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Parents need something to take the blame for their educational failures,it can be novel ,movie,and now it is the game:messenger_grinning_sweat:
 
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yurinka

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It's almost certainly the case, unfortunately.

This video sums up the main pieces of evidence:

Nah, because a anti-China propaganda youtube channel says so it doesn't mean it's true:
-They say China accepted they got transplants from dead prisioners until 2015. All countries get their organs from dead people who donated them, including prisioners. So it may be the case of China. Propaganda people can invent that any country with dead penalty kills their prisioners to get them.
-It says China gets transplants faster than other countries. Maybe it's because they have 1.2 Billion people, so dies more people every day, so they get more organs every day. Maybe it's because of their culture where is more frequent helping each other in their community it's more frequent to donate your organs. Maybe the list is also longer in US because only rich people can afford it, while other countries like China or Europe have a decent public health system where transplants are free for people so they are more common, so people is more conscious about it and is more common to become a donor.
-Their souces to claims these points are very weak and related to anti China propaganda, from Fox News to a Hollywood movie to a guy who wrote a book that is as politically biased (so pretty likely to be more propaganda stuff) as to be ' Senior Research Fellow in China Studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation' and claims official tranplant numbers from the Chinese government are false without showing anything to prove it another source is an 'independent tribunal', so indepent and unbiased with this topic that their full name is 'China Tribunal - Independent tribunal into forced organ harvesting from prisioners of conscience in China' that is not a real tribunal, and is not an official tribunal but instead the name of an event. It's just bullshit.

Everything in that video smells to bullshit propaganda, it doesn't include reliable and unbiased sources and facts to claim the Chinese government harvest organs from prisioners. But well, in any case we'll derailing the thread too much, we're supposed to be talking about videogames xDD
 
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Nah, because a anti-China propaganda youtube channel says so it doesn't mean it's true:
-They say China accepted they got transplants from dead prisioners until 2015. All countries get their organs from dead people who donated them, including prisioners. So it may be the case of China. Propaganda people can invent that any country with dead penalty kills their prisioners to get them.
In the vast majority of cases, donors have to have living organs in order to donate.

"Traditional organ donation requires a person to be in a hospital and on a ventilator when they are pronounced brain dead.

If a person experiences cardiac death, which means the heart has stopped and will not work again, they will be evaluated for tissue and cornea donation."

So, these prisoners would have to all be brain dead and have given their permission for their organs to be harvested beforehand to be considered actual donors in civil circles. Seems unlikely.
 
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yurinka

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In the vast majority of cases, donors have to have living organs in order to donate.

"Traditional organ donation requires a person to be in a hospital and on a ventilator when they are pronounced brain dead.

If a person experiences cardiac death, which means the heart has stopped and will not work again, they will be evaluated for tissue and cornea donation."

So, these prisoners would have to all be brain dead and have given their permission for their organs to be harvested beforehand to be considered actual donors in civil circles. Seems unlikely.
Yes, obviously people donates organs giving their permision by themselves (not forced) when they are alive, and when they die in the hospital then these organs are removed. Depending on the organs can be donated while alive, there are cases where people donates something to someone from his family because if not it would be too difficult to find a compatible donor.

At least here in Spain most transplants are made in public hospitals (we also have private ones but most people use the public ones because they are very good and are 'free'/paid with our taxes), so they are very strict and careful with the source of the organs, which often is people who is going to die in other local public hospital due to a car crash or something like that. Here even poor people can get transpants, so they are pretty common and people often donates. So sometimes you get a long waiting list to find a donor, but there's already a working good organs donation system.

I assume that China must be somewhat similar since they are now some sort of socialism. They must have a lot of very good public hospitals and their own network of -fair- organ donation system specially considering they have a fuck ton of people living there, so should be pretty easy/fast there to find donors.

But China now is becoming the top 1 country of the world in many areas, so will be common to see propaganda hoaxes coming from USA like this one, painting the Chinese government as some kind of James Bond evil character that harvests body organs from political/ideology rivals sent to concentration camps and extracting them while alive without consent.
 
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Sgt.Asher

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Yes, obviously people donates organs giving their permision by themselves (not forced) when they are alive, and when they die in the hospital then these organs are removed. Depending on the organs can be donated while alive, there are cases where people donates something to someone from his family because if not it would be too difficult to find a compatible donor.

At least here in Spain most transplants are made in public hospitals (we also have private ones but most people use the public ones because they are very good and are 'free'/paid with our taxes), so they are very strict and careful with the source of the organs, which often is people who is going to die in other local public hospital due to a car crash or something like that. Here even poor people can get transpants, so they are pretty common and people often donates. So sometimes you get a long waiting list to find a donor, but there's already a working good organs donation system.

I assume that China must be somewhat similar since they are now some sort of socialism. They must have a lot of very good public hospitals and their own network of -fair- organ donation system specially considering they have a fuck ton of people living there, so should be pretty easy/fast there to find donors.

But China now is becoming the top 1 country of the world in many areas, so will be common to see propaganda hoaxes coming from USA like this one, painting the Chinese government as some kind of James Bond evil character that harvests body organs from political/ideology rivals sent to concentration camps and extracting them while alive without consent.
Right here folks, is how tyrants rise to power. Just hand wave the proven genocide going on it's okay.
Oh and btw https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/...-organs-detainees-tribunal-concludes-n1018646
There ya go, now go fuck yourself.
 

yurinka

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Right here folks, is how tyrants rise to power. Just hand wave the proven genocide going on it's okay.
Oh and btw https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/...-organs-detainees-tribunal-concludes-n1018646
There ya go, now go fuck yourself.
As said before, even if they did use this name of 'independent tribunal', or 'international tribunal' this wasn't a tribunal of a country like UK or China (they were in London), the EU, UN or something like that. It's not a tribunal.

It was just a one time private event created for this topic where some folks said their stuff. Something pretty clear when their name is 'China Tribunal - Independent tribunal into forced organ harvesting from prisioners of conscience in China'. So pretty likely a propaganda stunt.

There is nothing proven. If I get 5 friends and create the 'USA Tribunal - Independent tribunal into genocide gamers' event and we say you're guilty of being a genocide doesn't mean a shit because we aren't a tribunal, we're just some random folks making a private event that has nothing to do with a proper tribunal from our country, your country, the EU or the International Human Rights Tribunal. Even if one of us is a retired judge.
 
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I think to film Mulan in one of these (in case they really exist and aren't a propaganda hoax) is as likely as USA allowing Chinese companies to film movies in the Guantanamo prision or in illegal prisions USA has in countries like Irak.

And even if it would be true that these camps exist and that they filmed there a part of Mulan, what is has to do with them supposedly emprisioning and human organ harvesting? Is there another hoax saying they harvest human organs with these Uhygir? I wouldn't believe it, I'd bet it's just more propaganda and that in case there's some organ trafficking mafia in China isn't related to the government at all.
Of course you wouldn't believe it, because it wouldn't confirm your pre-existing bias on the subject. You probably also don't believe that a decent chunk of Tencent's board members have deep ties to the CCP, yet it's been documented that is indeed the case.

Also at this point Disney is essentially a Chinese company in spirit given how much they're willing to bend over for the CCP to increase presence and revenue in that market. Almost all their decisions the past 5 years have prioritized the Chinese market (and specifically, the CCP)
 

nush

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A long haul flight from wherever you are.
You probably also don't believe that a decent chunk of Tencent's board members have deep ties to the CCP, yet it's been documented that is indeed the case.

In China no company gets big and allowed to be independent without the Chinese government getting involved. Don't play ball and your company gets shut down.
 
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why the hell do the chinese government care so much about what people do with their spare time in their own homes? they might aswell make video games illegal and a crime if you play them at this point. what is the difference between someone who spends hours playing games vs someone who spends hours on their phones or watching television? why single out videogames?
 
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In China no company gets big and allowed to be independent without the Chinese government getting involved. Don't play ball and your company gets shut down.
Exactly! It's been that way for a long time, too. Yet apparently some people still want to pretend that isn't the case.

Mind, it wouldn't be such an issue if the CCP weren't a trash governmental body looking to impose its will on everyone around the world but, well, while America has some history of that itself, it's also the country I grew up in and for a fact know if I grew up in CCP-controlled China my rights, freedoms, and economic & social mobility would've been reduced by magnitudes.
 
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Avengers Infinity War GIF

Yeah, fuck that noise. Crazy how even being worth billions won't save you from Winnie Jinpang if you hurt his fee-fees. If she were in America that money'd protect her and her family for life unless she was up to some Epstein-tier fuckery.
 

Kerotan

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Exactly! It's been that way for a long time, too. Yet apparently some people still want to pretend that isn't the case.

Mind, it wouldn't be such an issue if the CCP weren't a trash governmental body looking to impose its will on everyone around the world but, well, while America has some history of that itself, it's also the country I grew up in and for a fact know if I grew up in CCP-controlled China my rights, freedoms, and economic & social mobility would've been reduced by magnitudes.
America is just the child of Europe who tried to do what China is doing now.
 

yurinka

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Of course you wouldn't believe it, because it wouldn't confirm your pre-existing bias on the subject. You probably also don't believe that a decent chunk of Tencent's board members have deep ties to the CCP, yet it's been documented that is indeed the case.
I know there are ties between Tencent board members and their government and main party, same happens with western companies and their counties/main parties.

In the same way that Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and many other tech companies introduce dozens of backdoors to spy and collect info from their devices, operative systems and apps to allow many intelligence agencies and secret services from USA and western countries allies of USA as seen in wikileaks and other controversies sometimes publicly accepted by the companies, I assume Tencent and other Chinese companies do the same for their side.

Or well, we better don't talk about other top companies of each country like oil companies, military related companies, etc and what some countries do to keep their profits high.

Also at this point Disney is essentially a Chinese company in spirit given how much they're willing to bend over for the CCP to increase presence and revenue in that market. Almost all their decisions the past 5 years have prioritized the Chinese market (and specifically, the CCP)
Disney isn't Chinese, they are a very capitalist/American company that tries to enter the biggest (at least in gaming) or one of the biggest (I have no idea regarding movies and tv show markets but I assume it's the case) countries in the world in terms of revenue and amount of customers, as happens with a ton of other western companies including tech and gaming ones.

So they localize their product to the tastes of this market, its local regulations and try to have a good relationship with whoever is in charge there as happens in their other main markets, not giving a fuck about if that country/government violates human rights, they only give a fuck about increasing their revenue as much as possible and to don't miss giant markets. Because if they care about human rights they would also skip countries like USA and most of the main EU ones.
 
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America is just the child of Europe who tried to do what China is doing now.

I'm aware of that, and even acknowledged it. However, there are still massive differences in the approaches from a cultural viewpoint, partly due to differences in religious and cultural foundations. Just because Europe (mainly, Britain) and America have done it before doesn't excuse some of the things China is doing now.

I know there are ties between Tencent board members and their government and main party, same happens with western companies and their counties/main parties.

Yes but the similarities are largely superficial, the economic and political models acting as driving forces for example are quite different.

In the same way that Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and many other tech companies introduce dozens of backdoors to spy and collect info from their devices, operative systems and apps to allow many intelligence agencies and secret services from USA and western countries allies of USA as seen in wikileaks and other controversies sometimes publicly accepted by the companies, I assume Tencent and other Chinese companies do the same for their side.

Duh, but it seems like you're saying this in a way to justify some of the deep ties of Tencent and the CCP, or at least that's what some of the impression seems to be. There is no tech conglomerate (by the way you ironically left off Sony in that list) that has ties to the U.S government at the level Tencent does with the CCP, because the political model of the two countries vary so vastly that it is impossible in one case, but very possible in the other.

And I'm not here stating displeasure at Tencent's ties to the CCP as if I'm okay with various Western tech companies' ties to parts of the U.S government for questionable favor. They're both bad. However, from my perspective as a Westerner and seeing multiple examples of other perspectives from China, I would much rather fall under the Western umbrella WRT that stuff. I'm sure you can find Chinese citizens who would say the same only in regards to their government, that's just the way it is and part of how patriotism works. As long as we aren't doing so as a means to denigrate people in other nations who feel such a way towards their own government, then these type of differing perspectives are able to coexist.

Or well, we better don't talk about other top companies of each country like oil companies, military related companies, etc and what some countries do to keep their profits high.

You can if you want, but you'd be preaching to the choir. I'm already aware of what happens; I'm aware of Western corporations collaborating with countries like India to price-fix rupee currency, or how they cooperate with (oft-Western installed) military leaders in certain African countries to cut off access to natural resources for local citizens, or stuff like blood diamonds, etc.

It's all shitty and ultimately driven by greed, but I'm failing to see how acknowledging this justifies taking attention off the ties between Tencent members and the CCP.

Disney isn't Chinese, they are a very capitalist/American company that tries to enter the biggest (at least in gaming) or one of the biggest (I have no idea regarding movies and tv show markets but I assume it's the case) countries in the world in terms of revenue and amount of customers, as happens with a ton of other western companies including tech and gaming ones.

That isn't the problem; the problem is how companies like Disney bend over backwards to appease wants of the CCP seemingly at the expense of Western and other global audiences. Multiple companies have been proven to make content changes for the Chinese market while simultaneously making those changes the standard for non-Chinese markets. That's where the problem is.

And, let's just say some of the CCP's tastes are very...regressive...especially towards certain groups of people, which could explain several of the changes we've seen to various Disney films over the year. Censorship of LGBT moments in films (and the lack of having any explicit LGBT leads in pretty much any of their films), the reduction of plot significance for characters like Finn in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, etc. Now those could be purely coincidental, but there's various other "coincidental" instances suggesting these "creative" decisions are at least somewhat pushed by groups like the CCP.

As a more recent example, GG Strive had text in the PC release changed to make China appear more favorable in one of its character's backstories. However, the change in question led to something that felt more like a CCP state-approved message.

So they localize their product to the tastes of this market, its local regulations and try to have a good relationship with whoever is in charge there as happens in their other main markets, not giving a fuck about if that country/government violates human rights, they only give a fuck about increasing their revenue as much as possible and to don't miss giant markets. Because if they care about human rights they would also skip countries like USA and most of the main EU ones.

Read my response above, and also take a moment to consider that the level & degree of human rights violations differ pretty noticeably between the CCP/China and U.S/Britain etc., as well as the timing of more than a few of them.

Context kinda matters here 🤷‍♂️
 
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because the people in charge don't play them and It's always been like that. Binge watch a whole series over the weekend on Netflix = OK socially acceptable. Play videogames all weekend? waste of time loser, find something better to do.

Its stupid as shit. How is staring at your phone or watching some shit show on Netflix any more productive? You can even argue its even less productive as video games actually require a level of engagement to play. They don't just play themselves like TV programming does.
 
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ZehDon

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I can't help but feel this is less about "video games are the devil" and more about that video games allow unregulated online interactions that can be hard to monitor and control. Chinese players who play online games outside of the great firewall and interact with the rest of the world are exposed to real world - where China isn't the best, is viewed largely as a wealthy country propped by a slave class, and the state's attempt to suppress information doesn't work as well.
 

yurinka

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Yes but the similarities are largely superficial, the economic and political models acting as driving forces for example are quite different.
Obviously every country, culture and predominant ideology is different, but in all countries there's the commonality that the top companies have ties with the government and people in power for many reasons. From the economical elite to double check they will continue being the elite, to protect the country strategically, corruption, etc.

Duh, but it seems like you're saying this in a way to justify some of the deep ties of Tencent and the CCP,
I don't justify anything, I only say it's pretty much the same than what is done here in the west between top (in this case tech) companies and their local government. I don't like it to happen in China, USA or EU.

There is no tech conglomerate (by the way you ironically left off Sony in that list) that has ties to the U.S government at the level Tencent does with the CCP, because the political model of the two countries vary so vastly that it is impossible in one case, but very possible in the other.
They bring them access to spy their customers, there's links between DARPA or the Pentagon and some of them and there are many different other types of relationships in EU like former politicians who did help top tech companies who were donating for their campaigns on the board of directors of these companies etc. There are things like banning the --what they consider dangerous- foreigner companies both in China and USA etc. But yes, even if there are commonalities there are differences too.

And I'm not here stating displeasure at Tencent's ties to the CCP as if I'm okay with various Western tech companies' ties to parts of the U.S government for questionable favor. They're both bad. However, from my perspective as a Westerner and seeing multiple examples of other perspectives from China, I would much rather fall under the Western umbrella WRT that stuff. I'm sure you can find Chinese citizens who would say the same only in regards to their government, that's just the way it is and part of how patriotism works. As long as we aren't doing so as a means to denigrate people in other nations who feel such a way towards their own government, then these type of differing perspectives are able to coexist.
I worked in a global corporation including people living in China (both from there or expats working there), and Chinese guys who moved here. Some prefer our system, some prefer theirs. But the common opinion is that both have pros and cons, and none of the propaganda on each side is right, there's not a 'good side' and an 'evil side' even if both sides have shitty stuff.

It's all shitty and ultimately driven by greed, but I'm failing to see how acknowledging this justifies taking attention off the ties between Tencent members and the CCP.
It isn't to taking attention off, it's to highlight that in the west there are also important ties between government and important companies and to do more fucking evil things than to support their local tech companies.

That isn't the problem; the problem is how companies like Disney bend over backwards to appease wants of the CCP seemingly at the expense of Western and other global audiences. Multiple companies have been proven to make content changes for the Chinese market while simultaneously making those changes the standard for non-Chinese markets. That's where the problem is.
Not sure if you know it, but in games this is called localization. A lot of games in addition to be translated, they receive country specific changes that sometimes include to change art or cut parts to fit local regulations of certain countries (Germany, Japan, China, USA, Australia...) or to don't piss off local audiences/cultures or to appeal better their tastes, or to don't translate directly some texts but instead put there other texts that have their cultural equivalent/meaning. Or simply to get a better age rating which allows them to sell their games on the most popular retailers.

It goes from adding a 5th finger to the hands of characters who have 4 in their hands, change the eye color to characters with green eyes, remove certain death references, remove nazi references for Germany, adapt reference to tv shows to local shows, remove gore, nudity, sex scenes, for certain countries, etc.

And, let's just say some of the CCP's tastes are very...regressive...especially towards certain groups of people, which could explain several of the changes we've seen to various Disney films over the year. Censorship of LGBT moments in films (and the lack of having any explicit LGBT leads in pretty much any of their films), the reduction of plot significance for characters like Finn in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, etc. Now those could be purely coincidental, but there's various other "coincidental" instances suggesting these "creative" decisions are at least somewhat pushed by groups like the CCP.
I did miss some of the Disney films released in the recent years, I didn't know they had LGBT characters or moments. But at least here the impression we get is that Disney don't include LGBT stuff in their movies because they are conservative or don't want to make angry conservative people from (mostly) America, their (I assume) main market.

But I know some Hollywood movies did some changes in localized versions of their movies to appeal the Chinese market, as an example in certain Transformer movie (it was a shitty one, can't remember which one) they give more protagonism to a Chinese character.

Read my response above, and also take a moment to consider that the level & degree of human rights violations differ pretty noticeably between the CCP/China and U.S/Britain etc., as well as the timing of more than a few of them.

Context kinda matters here 🤷‍♂️
I think it's worse to invade militarly a country, destroy it, to steal their natural resources, to remove from power their democratically elected leaders and replace them with puppet dictators, to block economically them to ruin the country and make them starve and don't allow them even to buy medicines, so causing them directly or indirectly hundreds of thousands or even millions of deaths in many countries of middle east, Latin America or Africa plus having illegal prisons like Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib and so on where they have people there with no fair trials and torture people than to (I assume) not allow LGBT content in movies or reduce the appearance of a certain movie character for some reason I don't understand.

I think they have a softer type of 'colonialism' than us, at least in gaming with companies like Tencent: they invest in -or sometimes buy- foreigner gaming companies who already are very successful and profitable and don't influence them and don't ask them how to do things or to change anything. They simply collect the results of their investment, part of that profit. And they help them to enter the Chinese market, which raises the profits of that company so also the ones they get. And then reinvest that money in other company, and little by little they are getting a huge chunk of the gaming market.

Regarding 3rd world countries they help some of them we're financially blocking/destroyed making business with them selling them stuff they need, helping them stuff they lack (medicines etc) and help rebuild the country and help them make business with some resource they have (selling it to/producing it for China) and then when they become less poor/richer China sells them other goods like cars and so on. But it isn't everything nice, since they do it in countries where there are awful leaders or dictators, as it's going to be the case now in Afghanistan with the Talibans (btw guess who trained and gave weapons to groups like Afghan mujahideen/Taliban, Al Qaeda or ISIS in their begginings, it wasn't China).

For sure, China violates human rights, mostly with their own citizens. But our countries too, specially in foreign countries and I think that in a worse way. Just think how many kids died in countries like Irak because our countries didn't allow them to buy medicines and stuff like that for the sanctions we put them while they had a dictator our countries put there.
 

Swoopsail

Member
Apr 18, 2021
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Man, some people have to be proper miserable to spend all their time trying to figure out what games I'm playing, who I am talking to, and what I'm doing with my better half in the bedroom.

World is falling apart in accelerated fashion too. What, working 18 hrs a day with no weekend on a slowly dying planet isn't enough for you guys? Can you blame anyone for wanting to escape that for a couple hours? Or should I go play outside in the fire-ridden poluted air, the flooded hurricane infested coast, or the covid filled mall?
 
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Optimus Lime

Gold Member
Dec 24, 2010
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'Spiritual opium' you say? Clearly you've never tried to get a PS5 game upgrade installed without breaking something.

I kid.
 
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