from Human Events:
Kowtowing to China, Blizzard Style
Corporate wokeness is a sham that collapses in the face of actual tyranny
“Every voice matters,” according to Activision-Blizzard; that is, unless you use that voice to show support for Hong Kong.
Hong Kong-based professional video game player Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai learned this the hard way when he said the words, “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” following his win at the Hearthstone Grandmasters tournament in Taiwan. Blizzard banned him in response.
Chung was quickly silenced. Activision-Blizzard, the publisher of Hearthstone, Overwatch, and Call of Duty, cut off the interview and scrubbed the recording. The company fired both of the casters responsible for interviewing Chung, rescinded his prize money, and banned him from the professional circuit for a year.
Activision-Blizzard went as far as to justify their censorship by citing competition rules. They claimed that Chung violated terms that prohibits competitors from performing any actions that “brings [them] into public disrepute” or “offends a portion or group of the public or otherwise damages Blizzard’s image.”
Chung’s statement was clearly a major inconvenience for the company.
A Hong Kong-based player, competing in Taiwan, expressing his support for the ongoing pro-democracy protests—at an event hosted by a company that’s at least five percent owned by Chinese media conglomerate Tencent? The same Tencent with innumerable business interests on the Chinese mainland? And that same company that is currently in partnership with another Chinese company, NetEase, to develop a mobile-based sequel to its popular Diablo franchise?
Well, that just wouldn’t do.
Showing fealty to their Chinese overlords, Activision-Blizzard released an official apology on its Chinese-facing Weibo page that admonished Chung.
“We are very angered and disappointed at what happened at the event and do not condone it in any way,” they declared. “We also highly object the spreading of personal political beliefs in this manner. Effective immediately we’ve banned the contestant from events and terminated work with the broadcasters. We will always respect and defend the pride of China.”