Fortnite is no longer available in China due to the new regulations of the Xi Jinping regime


The company Epic Games threw in the towel on Monday with the Chinese version of its popular video game Fortnite, after three years of trying to settle down in the world’s largest online gaming market, due to the measures taken by the government to combat the addiction of young people to digital entertainment.

The company had announced two weeks ago that on November 15 it was going to shut down the Chinese version of the game, stating that “the Beta test of Fornite China has come to an end”, and disconnect the servers.

Users in China said Monday that They could no longer access the game, and posted farewells on the Weibo social network. “Friends who have played with me, we will see you again if luck permits,” wrote one user. Another identified as Zheng, 24, told AFP that “first I’m going to cry a little” because of the game he had used for two years in college.

The decision ends the Extensive Fortnite trial period created for China, where there is strict surveillance of violent content.

The action video game, with shootouts and world-building, is one of the most popular in the world with more than 350 million users, greater than the population of the United States. The video game started in China in 2018 on a trial basis, but it never received a final authorization from the government for its release and commercialization.

Image of the fifth season of the video game Fortnite (Europa Press)
Image of the fifth season of the video game Fortnite (Europa Press) (EPIC GAMES /)

The Decision to suspend the game comes as China tightens the rules for the digital sector. Video games represent an important source of income in China, but are criticized for being addictive for young people.

Severe controls

In August, the authorities imposed a drastic limit of three hours of video games per week to those under 18 years of age, when some could spend whole days glued to the screen.

Fortnite is free to download but generates billions of dollars in revenue from the sale of additional items for the characters, particularly the costumes.

The game quickly became world phenomenon, to the point that some games are followed live by millions of viewers.

In September, hundreds of Chinese video game producers, including Tencent, pledged to better monitor their products to avoid “politically harmful” content and restrict the age of gamers to comply with government regulations.

Neither Epic nor Tencent, the Chinese gaming and messaging giant, initially responded to inquiries from AFP about Fortnite.

Beijing’s attempts to tighten control over the economy hit several industries, particularly tech firms.

Given this, Microsoft announced in October that it would close the Chinese version of its social network aimed at LinkedIn professionals, while Yahoo decided weeks ago to withdraw from the country. Both companies cited growing obstacles to doing business in China.

Foreign tech companies have had to balance to comply with strict local laws and government censorship of content.

Google shut down its Chinese search engine in 2010 after refusing to comply with Beijing’s requirements to censor search results.

(With information from AFP)


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