Chinese activists sue Tencent over ‘inappropriate’ content in ‘Honor of Kings’


Tencent has been sued over allegedly “inappropriate” content in the massively successful mobile game Honor of Kings. Beijing Teenagers Law Aid And Research Center claims the game, which is known as Arena of Valor in the West, includes content that isn’t suitable for children.

The public interest group says it filed the lawsuit on Tuesday after an amended protection of minors law came into force. It contends that Tencent has lowered the recommended minimum age limit from 18 to 12 over the last few years.

The group claims Honor of Kings has characters with low-cut clothes, narrative elements that “tampered with historical figures” and “a lack of respect for traditional culture,” according to Reuters. It also wrote in a social media post that the game’s website and forums host “a lot of … low-taste content that is inappropriate for teenagers” and that a raffle system could prompt young players to play the game for longer than they might otherwise.

Honor of Kings had 100 million daily active players worldwide as of November, Tencent said at the time. The company is the subject of other lawsuits, including one from TikTok owner ByteDance, which accused Tencent of violating antitrust laws by preventing users from accessing Douyin content on the WeChat and QQ messaging apps.

Reports in April suggested that China plans to fine Tencent amid an antitrust crackdown. The company may face a penalty of around $1.5 billion. Tencent has faced issues in some other areas. It lost publishing rights to PUBG Mobile Lite and PUBG Mobile Nordic Map in India last year after the country banned with links to China.

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