On Chinese Social Media, Blizzard Said it Would Protect China's "National Dignity"

On Chinese Social Media, Blizzard Said it Would Protect China's "National Dignity"

The statement goes a step further than saying Hong Kong's "Blitzchung" violated a rule.

Before Blizzard indicated it was re-examining its decision to suspend a pro Hearthstone player for making a pro-Hong Kong statement, a Blizzard account on Chinese social media issued a hardline pro-China stance on the situation. The account, operated by Blizzard's Chinese partner NetEase, said the company will protect its "national dignity."

On October 8, Blizzard suspended Hong Kong player Ng "blitzchung" Wai Chung for 12 months after Chung made a pro-Hong Kong statement during a live Hearthstone Grandmasters post-match interview. Blizzard's initial statement contended that Chung's statement violated part of the company's official esports rulebook, which prohibits "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." On October 9, in the wake of mounting protest efforts, a Blizzard spokesperson said the company is "assessing the situation."

Today, IGN obtained a translated version of a statement posted on October 8 to Blizzard's official account on the Chinese social media service Weibo. The translated statement follows:

We express our strong indignation [or resentment] and condemnation of the events that occurred in the Hearthstone Asia Pacific competition last weekend and absolutely oppose the dissemination of personal political ideas during any events [or games]. The players involved will be banned, and the commentators involved will be immediately terminated from any official business. Also, we will protect [or safeguard] our national dignity [or honor].

Whereas Blizzard's English language statement did not engage with the nature of the ongoing Hong Kong protests, the Weibo statement's reference to "national dignity" can be taken to be pro-mainland China. NetEase, Blizzard's regional publishing partner and the operator of the Weibo account, is based in the mainland city Guangzhou.

While Blizzard has quietly assessed the international incident it created for itself, Blizzard employees, other Hearthstone players, and at least one professional caster have taken steps in protest against Chung's suspension.

Online, the backlash to Blizzard's decision is still passionate. The hashtag #BoycottBlizzard remains highly active on Twitter and the frontpage of r/Hearthstone is filled with posts criticizing Blizzard's decision and following near-silence on the matter.

Thanks, IGN.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Mathew Olson

Reporter

Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

In other news

Riot Games Partnership With Controversial Saudi City Project Results in Immediate Backlash [Update]

Fans, commentators, and even Riot employees are publicly speaking out.

New Valve Doc Showcases Long-Lost Projects, Including a Dota 2 RPG

On top of Half-Life 3 and Left 4 Dead 3, the studio abandoned something in a new genre.

Riot Games Exec Resigns After Posting Insensitive George Floyd Meme

Ron Johnson, Global Head of Consumer Products, is exiting Riot.

Riot Games Exec Placed on Leave Following "Abhorrent" George Floyd Facebook Meme

The League of Legends publisher is investigating the situation.

Need help?

How to Complete the Fortnite Pipeman, Hayman, Timber Tent Locations Challenge

Here's how you can complete the Fortnite challenge to dance in front of the pipeman, hayman, and timber tent locations.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare: How to Access Spec Ops Missions

Spec Ops missions are co-op, wave-based affairs. Here’s how to play them.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate Terry Bogard Tips

SNK’s Terry Bogard has been added to Smash Bros. Here’s how to play him.