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Xbox One photo
Xbox One

Beautiful and unwieldy Xbox Ones for the Chinese New Year

Banana controller!
Jan 29
// Brett Makedonski
The Chinese New Year is rapidly approaching, beginning on February 8 (thanks, Wikipedia!), just little more than a week away. Microsoft commissioned eight local artists from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan to design Xbox Ones to...

We investigated Riot Games' new owner and its Chinese social credit system

Jan 05 // Mike Cosimano
[embed]330544:61689:0[/embed] Before we can break down the impact that Sesame Credit could have on Riot Games (and I believe such an impact is plausible), we have to come to an understanding regarding the system. According to Extra Credits: "The owners of China's biggest social networks have partnered with the government to create something akin to the US credit score. They dredge data from your social networks, so post something about the recent stock market crash and your score goes down. Post something from the state-sponsored news agency about how good the economy's doing, and your score goes up. But Alibaba and Tencent are also the largest retailers in China, so Sesame Credit is also able to pull data from your purchases." There are benefits for high scores, and the possibility of consequences for low-scoring citizens -- as is the case with the American credit score. The system also notifies you of social media friends with low scores, and will lower your own score just for associating. Extra Credits paints a bleak, dystopian picture -- but Destructoid user Nonymous believes it's not quite as bad as some think. We can look at a comment like this, deflating fears about the Chinese government, and assume we have a propaganda official in the mix, but I'm going with the simplest explanation on this one -- people from China definitely visit this site, and comment sections are 50% corrections anyway. Nonymous claims Tencent and Alibaba are just one of eight companies working on credit systems at the behest of the government in the hopes of cleaning up China's banking system. "Alibaba created Sesame Credit, and while it does factor in purchases, it's explicitly stated to not factor in Social Media or who your friends are. It does factor in things like professional conduct, or crimes, or fiscal responsibility," our mystery Dtoider said. "Tencent's system, conversely, is just plain evil, as it does factor in social media. Judging by the wealth of news articles about Alibaba's system in favor of Tencent's systems, nobody appears to be using Tencent's system. This is good, because their system is quite literally the devil, and I don't think that it'll be chosen." That last sentence is particularly interesting, because it not only implies China might avoid Tencent's system altogether, but also that six other companies are in the mix as well -- possibly working on systems that score citizens exclusively on monetary factors. [Image Credit: Rico Shen] Nonymous' comment is supplemented by this article from Tech in Asia, and even adds a new wrinkle entirely. The site makes no mention of eight separate companies, but does draw a distinction between Tencent and Alibaba, and throws a third hat in the ring: China itself. According to Tech in Asia editor Charlie Custer, the oft-mentioned government-mandated credit system, set to be implemented in 2020, is developed by the government itself. Tech in Asia, along with Wired, cite a document mirrored on a WordPress blog published by Oxford scholar Rogier Creemers. We've been unable to verify the document's veracity, and are currently waiting on comment from Creemers. Chinese newspaper Caixin, conversely, verifies the "eight companies" idea, but makes no mention of a government-mandated score. This is where Tencent comes in. Everything I've been able to find on Tencent's credit system (including Nonymous' comment) indicates that Tencent is the one people should be worried about. "Alibaba's rating is more based on people's online shopping behavior while Tencent's based on social networks. It is likely that the two will come up with different ratings for the same person," analyst Wang Weidong said in a comment to China Daily. "The credit rating service can help Tencent leverage its massive social networking data, commercialize it, and eventually boost its income." So, based on every article I've read, and the information collated above, here's what I feel comfortable believing: Tencent is making a social credit system, but one that is entirely separate from Alibaba's (aka Sesame Credit); Sesame Credit factors social elements, but is primarily financial in nature, and Tencent's credit rating is based on the "quality" of citizens' social networks. My next port of call for this story wasn't a news article, but a personal friend, who I will refer to as "Jay." She's from China, and is certainly familiar with Tencent's products, especially messenger app WeChat. "I barely send text messages in China because a lot of people use WeChat to contact each other," Jay said in an interview. WeChat also has traditional social hooks similar to Facebook or Twitter, where users can update their status -- another social credit variable. Jay is skeptical about Tencent's ability to track financial information. Tencent has an enormous amount of users who use the company's online payment system, but the purchases made through that system don't account for much of the average citizen's spending habits. However, that could easily change. Tencent recently implemented an Apple Pay-esque feature for WeChat, where users can use funds in their WeChat wallet to pay their bill in physical stores like Carrefour -- one of the largest retail chains in the world. Not to force video games into this wide-reaching discussion, but should Tencent's system defy expectations and take off, this could have negative repercussions for League of Legends. Alibaba's rival credit system labels people who play video games for ten hours or more as "idle," while Tencent owns one of the most popular free-to-play games in the world. Under Tencent's system, would citizens be thus incentivized to make frequent LoL purchases, since they are technically supporting a Chinese business? Or would Tencent be forced to disown its recent acquisition in favor of making its system appear more productive, edging out the competition? I am not a Chinese citizen. Unless something drastic changes in the immediate future, I likely never will be. As a result, there will always be holes in my understanding of this story, but I hope I've put together a fairly comprehensive look at the controversy surrounding the folks who now own a massively influential company and its iconic product. If you have any questions, corrections, or first-hand experience, my door is always open.
Riot Games photo
Is it as evil as people say?
When I originally reported on Chinese holding company Tencent's purchase of League of Legends developer Riot Games, I let you all down. I spent time looking into Tencent's numerous endeavors, but it appears I only s...

Riot Games photo
Riot Games

League dev Riot Games purchased by Chinese company

Yeah, that sounds about right
Dec 18
// Mike Cosimano
Recently, League of Legends developers Riot Games inadvertently announced the acquisition of Riot by Chinese holdings company Tencent Holdings Ltd in a blog post regarding changes to the company's compensation policy. "O...
Borderlands Online photo
Borderlands Online

Borderlands Online cancelled as 2K shutters studio in China

About 150 people laid off
Nov 06
// Brett Makedonski
Upcoming free-to-play shoot-and-looter Borderlands Online is no more and and neither is the studio that was working on it. 2K cancelled the game and shut down 2K China. Borderlands Online was originally scheduled to...

Censorship photo

Sony: Chinese censorship limiting PS4 sales

SCE challenged by Beijing's restrictions
Sep 20
// Kyle MacGregor
Sony feels China's strict censorship laws are limiting the PlayStation 4's potential in the country. "We are still challenged somewhat with a censorship regime that we have to work with. This can be time-consuming," SCE boss ...
Mii too photo
Mii too

Chinese console knocks off PS4 and Xbox One

Shameless, utterly shameless
Aug 16
// Kyle MacGregor
You'd think China recently ending its ban on foreign video game consoles would end this particular brand of malarkey, but here we are talking about the "OUYE," yet another shameless knock off box. The manufacturer of this And...
Chinese console ban photo
Approved for manufacture, sale anywhere
China is lifting nationwide restrictions on video game consoles, The Wall Street Journal reports. The nation eased the embargo last year by allowing console manufacturers to operate in Shanghai's free-trade zone, leading to M...

Online gaming photo
Online gaming

Lonely Chinese gamers can hire escorts for the feels

What a time to be alive
Apr 22
// Robert Summa
The Chinese can take gaming very seriously. So seriously in fact that they have created an entire industry revolved around keeping lonely gamers happy while grinding away in their virtual wastelands. While in places like Amer...
OUYA photo

Ouya nets $10 million from Chinese investor Alibaba

E-commerce giant seeks software for its set-top boxes
Feb 02
// Kyle MacGregor
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has sunk $10 million into Ouya, WSJ reports. According to sources familiar with the situation, Alibaba inked the deal last month with hopes of integrating the Ouya library on it...
Chinese PS4 launch photo
Chinese PS4 launch

Sony delays PlayStation 4 and Vita launches in China

January 11 release date pushed back to... who knows?
Jan 08
// Kyle MacGregor
Sony planned to release PlayStation 4 and Vita in China this Sunday, January 11, but that's no longer in the cards. According to a Famitsu report, the electronics giant has postponed both launches "due to various circumstance...
Call of Duty Online photo
Call of Duty Online

Zombies, monsters, Captain America: Call of Duty is different in China

Hollywood takes a paycheck in China
Jan 06
// Steven Hansen
In China, the Call of Duty series is devoid of Kevin Spacey, but that doesn't mean they won't try to sell it with big American actors. This live-action trailer for Call of Duty Online, the China-exclusive free-to-play Call of Duty, features Captain America's (and Snowpiercer's) Chris Evans.  There are also some lacking CG zombies and Gears of War style giant monsters.
Chinese Holmes photo
Chinese Holmes

Jonathan Holmes' face broadcast to entirety of China

Promoted from our Community Blogs!
Dec 16
// arkane9
[A wild Holmes appears! --Mr Andy Dixon] After rising up the ranks at Destructoid and becoming Editor-in-Chief, Jonathan Holmes sets his eyes on China. The country is growing in both economy and power, but what Mr. Holmes' real goal is is currently unconfirmed. His recent appearance on the Chinese news channel CCTV 13 opens up room for speculation.
Xbox One photo
Xbox One

Microsoft has already sold 100K Xbox Ones in China

Faring much better than in Japan
Oct 08
// Brett Makedonski
It's only been on the market for a week or so now, but Microsoft's Xbox One seems to be doing fairly well in China. Since September 29, it's already moved 100,000 units. That's more than Japan's cumulative sales since the sys...
Xbox One China photo
Xbox One China

Microsoft postpones Xbox One launch in China

Now planning to launch before the end of the year
Sep 21
// Kyle MacGregor
The Xbox One's launch in China has been delayed, Microsoft announced this weekend. The console was slated to arrive in the country on Tuesday, thereby becoming the first foreign videogame device officially sold on Chinese soi...
Ouya heads to China photo
Ouya heads to China

Ouya sets sights on China in hopes of success

Microconsole maker to partner with Xiaomi to bring its games eastward
Aug 22
// Kyle MacGregor
The Ouya hasn't been embraced in the West, so now the company behind the Android microconsole finds itself turning to China in search of an audience, Reuters reports. Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi is brokering a partn...

Xbox One launches in China on September 23

Jul 30
// Dale North
Xbox One is the first gaming console approved for sale in China through the Shanghai Free Trade Zone. It launches on September 23, priced at ¥3,699 RMB (right at $599). At a media briefing today in Shanghai, launch d...

CES expands to Asia with a new tradeshow in Shanghai

Launching May 2015
Jul 17
// Dale North
The Consumer Electronic Show is one of my favorite events. It was Destructoid's very first trade show, and we've been back every year we've been in business. While not necessarily a videogame trade show, it still brings us bi...
Diablo III photo
Diablo III

China can finally join the rest of the world in Diablo III

Diablo finally sacks the Middle Kingdom
Jul 16
// Brittany Vincent
Chinese company Netease will complete its commitment to Blizzard by bringing Diablo III to China. While the release date has not been officially announced, this release will mark the last major Blizzard franchise to hit the C...
Child trafficking photo
Child trafficking

Chinese couple sells their kids to fund gaming habit

Currently under arrest
Jul 15
// Steven Hansen
A young, unwed couple in China is currently in jail for selling their two children. The first child was sold to traffickers from Fujian. When they sold the second, the baby's paternal grandfather turned the couple in.  I...
Guild Wars sales photo
Guild Wars sales

China really likes Guild Wars 2

China DO care, to the tune of almost 4 million
Jul 08
// Steven Hansen
Guild Wars 2's Chinese publisher had the MMO at 760,000 players on launch day. Two months later, it's reporting 3.8 million Chinese players. Guild Wars 2's first year sales, before the Chinese launch, were at 3.5 million, so total sales are at least over 7 million.  Not bad, not bad.  [Via NeoGAF]
Oculus photo

Scalpers force Oculus to suspend Rift orders in China

It's looking for alternative ways to get the DK2 to developers
Jul 06
// Brett Makedonski
Everybody wants to get their hands on the headset that's on the cutting edge of virtual reality. One of the basics of economics is that when demand is high but supply is low, price gets driven up. Oculus VR won't necessarily ...

Sony ramps up to launch PlayStation in China

Get in while it's hot
May 27
// Dale North
Now that the ban on game consoles in China is up, Sony is gearing up to get their systems on shelves there. Bloomberg reports that Sony has formed two ventures with Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group to start selling PlayStation s...
Nintendo in China? photo
Product must be 'made form scratch'
Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata told Bloomberg that they plan to develop new game consoles for emerging markets. Instead of discounting existing Nintendo systems, they will "make new things, with a new thinking."  Iwata told ...

American McGee photo
American McGee

American McGee speaks out against Microsoft's plan to launch Xbox One in China

McGee cites piracy, cultural disconnect, and censorship
May 01
// Brittany Vincent
Alice: Madness Returns creator and Spicy Horse frontman American McGee has spoken out about Microsoft's plan to launch the Xbox One in China, and in a big way. The Shanghai-based developer posted a list of his top five reason...
Xbox One in China photo
Xbox One in China

The Xbox One will launch in China in September

I'm interested in sales numbers
Apr 30
// Chris Carter
Microsoft has just announced a partnership with BesTV, stating that it will bring the Xbox One to China in September. Marked as a "monumental day for Xbox," apparently this is the first step in the partnership between MS and...
MLG photo

MLG is building a gaming arena in China

Betting big on the future of eSports
Apr 24
// Jordan Devore
Major League Gaming, Lai Fung Holdings Limited, and eSun Holdings Limited are constructing a competitive gaming arena in China, scheduled to open to the public in 2017. The structure will be located off the coast of Macau wit...
CENSORSHIP!!!!!! photo

It won't be easy to release console games in China with all the censorship rules

But it will still probably make some people a lot of money while I worry about paying rent
Apr 23
// Steven Hansen
China has lifted the ban on foreign console sales, opening up a potentially huge market (if not per capita, then by volume). There's money to be made, but Chinese regulations aren't going to make it entirely easy. Games in As...

This old Chinese instrument was made for Mario music

Not really
Feb 21
// Dale North
The instrument you're about to hear is called a sheng. This weird looking Chinese cluster of bamboo flutes has an unexpected sound, and in this video it's used for an unexpected purpose: to play the Super Mario Bros. music. ...
Chinese console photo
Chinese console

Chinese TV maker working on Xbox-like videogame console

Coming later this year thanks to the ban lift
Jan 28
// Steven Hansen
At the start of this year, China lifted its ban on videogame consoles, allowing them to be sold on the mainland with government approval and provided they're made in Shanghai. Those restrictions could slow Sony, Nintendo, and...
China photo

Tips for China to catch up on 14 years of console gaming

Promoted from our Community Blogs!
Jan 12
// UsurpMyProse
[Dtoid community blogger UsurpMyProse catches China up on what they've been missing. Turns out, it's not much! Want to see your own blog appear on our front page? Go write something! --Mr Andy Dixon] Hey there, China! Have yo...

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