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Report: China Allegedly Region Locking All Online Games

Vignesh Raghuram
16/Apr/2020 09:14 am
  • The Chinese government allegedly plans to impose several new restrictions on the gaming industry.
  • The proposed new Chinese laws will restrict games from using worldwide servers, essentially region locking the country.
  • This could have repercussions on Dota 2 teams in both SEA and in China

According to a report from sina, the Chinese government is planning to impose heavy restrictions on the gaming industry. 

Various outlets including Vice, Polygon and BBC have stated that this action comes after multiple Hong Kong protesters used the popular Nintendo Switch game, Animal Crossing to criticize President Xi Jinping and the government of Hong Kong to propagate the 'Free Hong Kong' movement. 

Other Chinese citizens also began posting similar incidents that they captured inside the game.


The Proposed New Chinese Laws

Following this, China is allegedly beginning to draft new laws to expand its censorship reach to online games. The sina report states that the proposed memo will impose a number of restrictions in the gaming industry such as:

  • The government will ban worldwide servers (essentially region-locking the country).
  • Players will be banned from using character equipment, the chat system, and the guild system to promote ideas to "split up China"
  • Gaming companies should restrict and control the use of words like zombie, doomsday, kill, death, ghost, evil, etc.
  • Registrations for online games will require the use of the players' real names and identities. Foreigners will need to use their passport number to register for these games.


How Will This Affect Dota 2?


The changes imposed will not affect Dota 2 too drastically, considering the fact that most of the Chinese Dota 2 community is already playing in the Perfect World servers, isolated from the rest of the world.

However, there are still some issues that might crop up due to these new restrictions.

  • The custom Dota 2 client made for Chinese users might have to undergo more changes considering the restrictions on words like zombie, ghosts, kill and death.

  • A few Pro Dota 2 teams from the Southeast Asian region regularly scrim with Dota 2 teams from China. This may no longer be possible.

  • Korean and Japanese Dota 2 players will have to play at a higher latency since they will have to connect to the U.S. West or the SEA servers.



Earlier last year, reports of China imposing an online curfew for gamers under 18 and a restriction of the maximum amount of money/time they can spend on a video game per day also surfaced. These restrictions have also been included in the proposed memo.



AFK Gaming has not been able to independently verify these claims. This article has been put together using games.sina.com.cn as a source via Google translate and /u/HeresiarchQin's translation of it on /r/pcgaming.

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Vignesh is one of AFK Gaming’s most experienced writers, having written over 1000 articles for the website over the last 3 years. Although his primary focus has always been Dota 2, his experience in esports also includes expertise in CS:GO and mobile esports titles.