China Censorship Guidelines Released


In January, after a 14-year ban, the Chinese government finally lifted the ban on the sale of foreign game consoles in their country, opening the third biggest gaming market to Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. Foreign manufacturers are now able to manufacturer consoles within Shanghai’s free trade zone and sell them around the country, so long as they work with a local partner.

Until recently, questions regarding China’s strict censorship policy were raised in regards to the gaming industry. On Monday, the Shanghai government release a list of all the censorship, and here it is:

  • Gambling-related content or game features
  • Anything that violates China’s constitution
  • Anything that threatens China’s national unity, sovereignty, or territorial integrity.
  • Anything that harms the nation’s reputation, security, or interests.
  • Anything that instigates racial/ethnic hatred, or harms ethnic traditions and cultures.
  • Anything that violates China’s policy on religion by promoting cults or superstitions.
  • Anything that promotes or incites obscenity, drug use, violence, or gambling.
  • Anything that harms public ethics or China’s culture and traditions.
  • Anything that insults, slanders, or violates the rights of others.
  • Other content that violates the law

Obviously, many of these are ambiguous. They can be interpreted broadly or very selectively, but there is reason to hope the Chinese government does not take a broad approach to these laws. But, it seems that many of Western culture’s more controversial games (Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto) will not be released in China.