Tencent Announces New Streaming Rules for Chinese Gamers

Published: February 24, 2019 10:25 AM /



Earlier this week, Tencent announced new streaming rules for all Chinese gamers in response to growing concern from Chinese internet regulators. Esports Observer reported the list of banned activities, later disseminated by the wider press. The list of 12 regulations all-but-cement Tencent's role in directing the Chinese gaming policy. The prohibitions are as follows:

  • Violations of China's social values involving sensitive topics such as politics, ethnicity, and religion
  • Promoting or publishing content that violates China's social values, including but not limited to pornography, gambling, and terrorism
  • Behavior that damages the Tencent Games brand directly or indirectly
  • Distributing false information to other users or pretending to be an official Tencent representative
  • Distributing vulgar or indecent information
  • Distributing or promoting game cheat software or virus software
  • Engaging in excessive violence in-game or in the real world
  • Violating the privacy of other users, with or without permission
  • Failure to abide by rules of the contract signed with third parties (ie. other streaming platforms)
  • Copyright infringement of game developers or other content creators
  • Any content that has a negative social impact
  • Any actions that do not comply with current laws and regulations
While some of the rules might seem obvious (don't promote cheats, don't break any laws), certain regulations might seem unusual. In particular, Esports Observer again noted that the clause against violating contracts with various streaming platforms was in response to an incident that occurred last year. Wildly popular 19-year old streamer Haitao "Haishi" Jiang incurred a massive fine for breaking his contract with one service in favor of another. Despite reported revenue of $1.5 million USD in under a year, Haishi opted to leave streaming platform Huya in favor of rival service Douyu. Huya took offense and challenged Haishi in court. One failed appeal and 7 million dollars later, Tencent is hoping to curb any further poaching.

Despite the restrictions, it is worth noting that these restrictions only apply to Chinese streamers, not streamers of games owned by Tencent. That is to say, your favorite League of Legends or Dungeon Fighter Online streamer is exempt, provided they're outside of China. With few Chinese streamers opting to broadcast on Twitch.tv over the larger domestic options, many Westerners may not see the effect of these rules and it is extremely unlikely the company would feel compelled to make them apply worldwide.

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Kyle Johnson
| Japanese Gaming Specialist

Professional painter. Semi-professional weeb. I've played hundreds of games, but finished very few. I speak Chinese and Minnesotan.