Blizzard bans Hearthstone player, casters for HK Support

What about the business that moved to Ireland, or the Isle of Man?

What difference does it make? Are you asking what the legal definition is or our definition?

Edit: perhaps you’re getting at tax inversions, which got a bunch of publicity in the last year or so.

There have been 100 of them since 1993 and 85 of those were US companies merging with European companies to reduce their tax burden. Most of them ended up in Ireland.

However, recent tax laws in both the US and Europe have started to address these sorts of shenanigans, and as Wikipedia notes, as of June, there have been no material US inversions since 2017, and in fact there were several companies that merged with Irish companies but their HQs stayed in high-tax environments.

So in theory this is starting to become a thing of the past, and most importantly for this thread, there’s no such thing as a US company merging with a Chinese company or even moving their HQ to China.

I guess a fair question would be to ask if Riot is a US company or a Chinese company. They are headquartered in the US, most of their employees work in the US, and were started in the US. But they are 100% owned by a Chinese conglomerate.

But again, I’m not sure what the point of the question is.

Lee only won one match today, but his Hong Kong protest support did not go unnoticed.

The only gaming company with substantial Chinese exposure that took a moral stand so far is Epic. Everybody else is pretty small potatoes or keeping as quiet as possible hoping to escape criticism. You don’t see EA chiming in.

Tencent owns 40% of Epic, but Tim Sweeney apparently just doesn’t give a shit, he already has more money than God. Not like Tencent is going to sell their shares while Fortnite is still #1.

Companies with >50% ownership by a single Chinese entity (typically Tencent) like Riot and Grinding Gear Games are Chinese companies, even if they’re headquartered and incorporated in the US.

GGG are Kiwi by origin, I believe. But yeah, they took the Tencent payout and I’m done with them :(

Why, did they censor anybody? Or are you boycotting anything with Chinese ties? That would make life extremely difficult. Probably everything you’re looking at right now came from China.

Consumer activism doesn’t require perfect compliance across the board. Think of environmentalist that still need to drive a fossil fuel vehicle, etc. It’s about realistic incremental demand change, which is hoped to result in similar gradual supply change.

Sure, so what has GGG done to deserve a boycott?

Nothing. PoE’s business model remains unchanged, content updates continue and to the best of my knowledge nothing out of GGG has prompted any community disatsifaction outside of actual game related issues.

I’m confused on this topic.

Does Blizzard allow political statements in their venues, but just not against China?

That would be wrong.

If they don’t allow any political grandstanding during their gaming focused endeavors, good on them.

OK? It’s a global company.

Edit: I image in their heads they are tying to be like the Olympics. I bet they have some pretty big heads! :)

Everything’s political, even being neutral. But even accepting that that’s fine as a policy, as I also grudgingly accept, many believe it was too hard of a punishment, as the tournament was won fairly and had nothing to do with his politics.

Nothing, other than shitting up their game for the last year or so and the whole “Chinese companies are basically the CCP, which is evil, so fuck 'em.”

Ah, so they won fair and square and were punished for after touchdown grandstanding, like spiking the ball in a bad way.

Oh lord. Poor Blizzard company nerds. They are not equipped to take responibility for their global role. Sociologists and Cultural Anthropologists take note! Blizzard is hiring.

No offence but your posts are sounding like they are coming from someone who’ve never had their civil liberties and political rights under threat, or ever considered the perspective of people that do. The guy is from HK, it’s not like a pale white musician hanging a “free tibet” banner at a festival concert. With the protests going on and the future of his city being determined, voicing support on a Taiwanese broadcast is a matter of conscience not grandstanding. It’s something that will put him at personal risk with CCP sympathisers in his home city. It’s also a cause that isn’t divisive in any western democracy, where Blizzard mostly operates, nor in the country in which it was broadcast.

They should have just given him a warning, put out a statement saying that views expressed by contestants do not necessarily reflect the views of Blizzard, and then encouraged people to focus on game talk during the broadcasts. Instead they used it as an opportunity to grovel to the CCP and came down on him like a pile of rocks.

If anything, the company nerds appeared to have hated the reaction. It sounds like this was all the executive and PR department.

More akin to thanking God in a post-game interview and then being banned by the league and having your winnings confiscated.


I don’t think Epic Games has yet been challenged in this regard, moreover run afoul of the CCP. I think when they do is when “it” matters most. The CCP runs a zero sum game.

Report back when the Fortnite World Champion says something like…Free Tibet, or Taiwan is an independent nation, or stop the Uyghur concentration camps, or basically Hong Kong anything right now…

This is exactly the case.

“But gay rights is a human issue, it’s not political. It’s basic human decency,” you say. Hmm…

Don’t get me wrong. I understand the serious nature of the issue. My point is that Blizzard is completely unequipped to lead in this area. Poor nerds. Found themselves with unexpected power.

Edit: who do you think is setting the Blizzard agenda? Most likely somebody who was promoted to director from the ranks, driven by pressure from some vice president…

These guys have SO MUCH FUCKING cultural power. It’s like the show Silicon Valley.


Different director and not related to Hearthstone, but good on them!

How big is Blizzo/activation? No doubt that company goes nine different directions on a daily basis.

My mother and father marched with Martin Luther King from Selma to Montgomery. I get it… was raised on it, in Northern California.

It’s funny. All people have a perspective and we all have a desperate need to be understood.