Blizzard Entertainment may feel the effects of the controversial ban on Hong Kong fire plate player Ng "Blitzchung" Wai Chung for quite some time. The company was not only confronted with a widespread player boycott, convictions of US legislators and numerous employee losses due to the decision, but also lost a major sponsor of its international game competitions.
According to The Daily Beast, Mitsubishi decided to sponsor Blizzard e-sporting events after the company banned Wai Chung from expressing support for Hong Kong demonstrators in a post-game television broadcast earlier this month. Reddit users noticed it for the first time the disappearance of the Mitsubishi logo during a recent Asia-Pacific fire plate tournament, and the company confirmed its decision to attract its sponsorship The Daily Beast.
Mitsubishi's arm that pulled its sponsor support was Mitsubishi Motors Taiwan, the Taiwanese branch of the Japanese car company. Taiwan is often the subject of controversial disputes between the Chinese government and companies around the world who run the risk of doing business on the mainland if they in any way change the position of the government with regard to the Chinese sovereignty of Hong Kong, Taiwan and other areas. Apple recently hid the Taiwanese flag in the iOS 13 emoji set when you are in Hong Kong or Macau.
After initially announcing a one-year ban on Wai Chung and the tournament announcers who interviewed him live in early October, Blizzard has recently shortened the ban to six months in response to the fan and the public protest. But the company also claimed that his decision was not motivated by the relationship with the Chinese government, a critic has been questioned. Blizzard operates numerous online video games in China, and also oversees e-sports teams and competitions for some of its most successful features, such as Overwatch and fire plate, in the country.
The company said it was a problem with Wai Chung who used the official broadcast of the tournament to express his political views, and since then it has banned US college students and Twitch users for continuing to show support for Hong Kong. Blizzard & # 39; s annual convention, BlizzCon, begins next Friday, where discussions about the protests in Hong Kong are likely to be a flash point for further controversy. Non-profit organization Fight for the Future has organized a new game-focused campaign called Gamers for Freedom that is planning to protest against the event.