World of Warcraft caught up in Chinese red-tape

China’s Licensing bureau and Ministry of Culture can’t quite seem to decide who has the power to monitor World of Warcraft within their borders. Either way, content monitoring of WoW in China will be harsh and territorial. Until the interagency dispute is reconciled, the bureau demands people stop being signed up for the service, while the Ministry of Culture contends its authority and a go for WoW.

Ministry of Culture

Ministry of Culture

This is a power struggle between which agency controls the internet in China, World of Warcraft merely a catalyst. The episode gave rise to public concern over who monitors the internet, and prompts the question of to what extent.

“They see the pie is getting bigger and bigger, so it is no wonder different administrations are fighting over pieces of that territory,” said Edward Yu, president of Analysys International, an internet research firm in Beijing.

Li Xiong

Li Xiong

Inter-agency exchanges over power are not new in China, and this one affects the largest industry on the net. The General Administration of Press and Publication released a statement Monday that no license was approved and that game registration cease. The Ministry of Culture, under Li Xiong, stated the games were under their pervue and WoW met its requirements.

Looks like a lot of red-tape.

via The Associated Press

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Written by Les T


  1. Interesting to say the least. How would China sensor world of warcraft though? Will the characters and the the maps be somehow representative of Chinese culture? Even though it is a huge market for Blizzard is it worth it to “water down” and change their game?

  2. @Darrell
    Yeah, what measures China will be taking to sensor WoW? And what will they filter on the game? I just have no idea on this one when even the Ministry of Culture, under Li Xiong, said that WoW met its requirements.

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