Government, Games, and Media Control

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The ongoing crackdown on the print and television media in China (recent posts include coverage of Google’s self-censorship, Rolling Stone’s sudden demise, not to mention the sad end of Mark Kitto’s That’s magazines.

The latest news puts the Rolling Stone story in some context – Beijing (through the State Administration of Press and Publications) has decided to stop allowing new foreign magazine publishers to set up shop (via copyright co-operations) in China.

But the current round of action does not end with magazines. China’s 30-million strong army of online gamers (and their US$500 million market) is also in the firing line. The BBC notes:

    ”Since the end of last year [the government has] taken aim at the hardcore players, issuing directives to make sure the games have technical blocks hindering excessive game play.

    Under the new system, your online character becomes less and less effective. After three hours, the number of in-game “experience points” for, say, killing an opponent are reduced by half. After five hours you do not get any at all. It is called the fatigue system.”

Both developments seem to have commercial as well as political drivers. The publishing sector is being protected against too much foreign competition (see our post on “malicious foreign investment” here http://www.chinabusinessservices.com/?p=153). In the gaming sector, the commercial angle is slightly different – the government has recently announced it is to invest US$2 billion to help develop the industry (perhaps as part of the “independent innovation” strategy.
It pays to keep an eye on policy trends, especially when working in sensitive areas of the economy.

Or get someone to do it for you – and avoid nasty surprises.

See news sources

    China clamps down on foreign magazines
    Guardian Unlimited
    Julia Day and agencies
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/china/story/0,,1749157,00.html

    China wrestles with online gamers
    BBC NEWS | Programmes | Click
    China is trying to keep gamers under control, while encouraging a burgeoning gaming … Welcome to Click, the BBC’s flagship technology lifestyle show …
    news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/click_online/default.stm

2 Responses to “Government, Games, and Media Control”

  1. Archive » Printed in China: 40 Billion Papers, 6 Billion Books… | China Business Blog Says:

    […] sorship of China’s media continue to attract negative attention around the world (see “Government, Games, and Media Control”), but there is still a huge amount of information flowi […]

  2. Archive » Media Sensitivity: No Surveys, but Plenty of Plagiarism| China Business Blog Says:

    […] ly controlled. Rolling Stone was rocked by the authorities last year as part of an ongoing media clampdown. Now it is the development and NGO publication China Development Brief (h/t Dan […]

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