Hong Kong PlayStation users are being asked to accept new Terms of Service after a recent update. The terms are the same as those that mainland Chinese users must accept and include provisos and caveats designed to protect Chinese interests.
What are the new Hong Kong PlayStation Terms of Service?
The new Terms of Service instruct PlayStation Network users not to "oppose the basic principles" espoused by the Chinese Constitution. Other terms include not violating PRC (People's Republic of China) policies on religion, "social stability", or the "sovereignty and unification" of China, among other things. These are terms that mainland Chinese users have had to accept for some time now, but Hong Kong users have traditionally been exempt (see section two, Classes of Transferees, in this EULA). It looks like the Chinese government is cracking down on services that used to treat Hong Kong as a separate entity.
This is nothing new in terms of Chinese regulations. All companies that do business in China must accept these terms and must play by Beijing's rules if they want to continue to operate in that country. However, the fact that Hong Kong residents must now accept these terms is new, and implies that Beijing is extending all of its demands on non-Chinese business (and Chinese business, for that matter) to Hong Kong as well.
What does this mean for Sony in the West?
In short, probably not very much. There's no reason to suspect that Sony will be changing its approach to China or the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) in the rest of the world. Recently, developer miHoYo's open-world RPG Genshin Impact censored terms like Taiwan and Hong Kong in its chat, and this censorship extended to the Western version of the game. However, miHoYo is a Chinese company and can choose to apply these kinds of guidelines where they please. We'll bring you more on the PlayStation situation for Hong Kong gamers as we get it.
How do you feel about these new Hong Kong Terms of Service? Let us know in the comments below!