China Bans Video Game for Breach of Sovereignty
BEIJING (Reuters) -
China, sensitive about issues of
national sovereignty, has banned a computer sports game that
classifies Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and Tibet as countries and
has threatened to fine Web sites that supply the game and net
cafes that let patrons download it.
The game, "Soccer Manager 2005," contained content that
harmed China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and
violated Chinese law, the Xinhua news agency reported on
It did not say who made the video game, also called
"Champion Soccer Manager 2005," but said it had yet to be
Any Web site that offered downloads of the game would be fined
up to $1,210, Xinhua said, quoting an order from the Ministry
Cybercafes that failed to prevent players from downloading,
installing or playing the game would be fined as much as
$1,815, it added.
Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau were listed as independent
countries in the game, and the Himalayan region of Tibet, which
Chinese troops occupied in 1950, is called "Chinese Tibet,"
which elevated it to the same level as China itself, Xinhua
Taiwan and the mainland have been politically separate for
55 years but Beijing considers the democratic island of 23
million people a rebel part of China's territory and has vowed
to unite it with the mainland, by force if necessary.
Hong Kong, a one-time colony of Britain, was handed back to
China in 1997. Macau, a former colony of Portugal, came back to
the Chinese fold in 1999.
Online gaming exploded in China in recent years, and is
hugely popular among urban youth. An estimated 13.8 million
online games spent $240 million on their hobby last year and
annual revenues are expected to reach $1.5 billion by 2008.