Dennis-Kenji Kipker, professor of IT security law at HSB City University of Applied Sciences in Bremen, discusses why the world’s most popular video game, Fortnite, has been abruptly shut down in China.
It is argued by the Chinese government that computer games and excessive online consumption in general are harmful to the personal development of children and young people. In addition, Fortnite not only comes from a US game developer, but is extremely successful with over 300 million players. This fuels the Chinese government’s fear of losing control in the digital space.
The State Press Office of the People’s Republic of China justifies the action on video games as follows: „Adolescents are the future of the motherland, and protecting the physical and mental health of minors is in the fundamental interest of the masses and serves to promote young people in the era of national renewal“. Chinese President Xi Jinping sees public health as a measure to further enhance China’s global political standing. According to government estimates, one in ten Chinese minors was addicted to online in 2018.
In my opinion, we will have to expect much more tech regulation in China in the future. China is completely renewing itself, and the digital sector is inevitably affected by this. And it is not only foreign companies that are confronted with strict laws and political guidelines, but also Chinese corporations such as Tencent. It is therefore sure that it will become increasingly difficult for foreign companies to do business in the People’s Republic in the near future, especially in the digital sector.