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Genshin Impact censors words like “Taiwan” and “Hong Kong”

Illustration for the article titled iGenshin Impact / i Is Censoring Words Like

Image: miHoYo

The chat function in Breath of the Wildgacha style game Genshin Impact It has been found to censor a variety of words, including references to places like Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Tibet.

These details first gained prominence thanks to a video uploaded to Twitter by independent journalist Kazuma Hashimoto. The video, which one Kotaku reloaded on YouTube with Hashimoto’s permission after blocking his Twitter account, displays chat messages that replace the words “Taiwan” and “Hong Kong” with censored characters.

Officer Genshin Impact subreddit also has seen sporadic complaints about gaming censorship. A poster in a created thread before today said a “bug” was causing “Tibet” to be censored, while others noted that even harmless-looking words like “words” and “enemies” are getting asterisk treatment.

Such as Genshin Impact miHoYo developer is based in China, many see him as part of the government continued efforts to avoid discussions on topics that it considers to be politically harmful. According to a report shared by gaming industry analyst Daniel Ahmad, Chinese regulatory practices prohibit anything that “threatens national unity, sovereignty or territorial integrity of China.”

The influence of China has led to projects such as Devotion, a Taiwanese horror game that including assets that mocked Chinese President Xi Jinping, having been removed from online storefronts, but its reach was presumably too the basis for changes made in a recent reissue of the classic Neo Geo Baseball stars 2, which removed long-standing references to Taiwan and its capital Taipei as home to baseball teams.

It is a complicated situation. While it is clear that the Chinese government is authoritarian through and through, these policies have also given rise to a growing movement in the gaming community that uses such incidents as a cover for racism and synophobia. Genshin Impact it may just be the victim of an overly aggressive chat filter, but as we have learned time and time again, China is more than happy to restrict free speech wherever it sees fit.

Kotaku reached out to miHoYo for comment but had no response before publication.

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