Fortnite maker CEO says he will never cut ties with a player for pro-Hong Kong views

Posted Wednesday, 09 October 2019 ‐ CNN

New York (CNN Business)Fortnite maker Epic Games said it would allow its esports players to express political beliefs in support of Hong Kong democracy protesters, despite its partial ownership by Chinese tech giant Tencent. Responding to Twitter users Wednesday, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said if a famous Twitch streamer like Tfue or Ninja hypothetically shouted "Free Hong Kong," there would be no repercussions from Epic. "That will never happen on my watch as the founder, CEO and controlling shareholder," he tweeted."Epic supports everyone's right to speak freely," he tweeted. "China players of Fortnite are free to criticize the US or criticize Epic just as equally as all others."Twitter users were quick to point out that Tencent owns about 40% of Epic Games' shares, but Sweeney added, "Epic is a US company and I'm the controlling shareholder." Its rival Activision Blizzard received flak from gamers around the world after it disqualified and banned a "Hearthstone" player for shouting a popular Hong Kong protest slogan. On Tuesday, Blizzard said player Ng "Blitzchung" Wai Chung violated competition rules when he shouted "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times" during a livestreamed post-match interview. Ng was stripped of his potential winnings and bannedfrom competing for the next year.It's the latest instance of businessesgetting involved in Hong Kong's ongoing pro-democracy, anti-government protests, which are now in theirfourth month. Beijing has taken a hard line on other brands caught in the mix. It scrubbed television show South Park from the Chinese internet after an episode criticized censorship, and pulled NBA preseason games off the air after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted in support of Hong Kong.Now, some in the online-gaming community are accusing Blizzard of trying to appease China.In response to the disqualification, some fans called for boycotts of Blizzard. Others drew fan art or made memes of a Chinese character within the Blizzard-owned video game "Overwatch," recasting her as a Hong Kong protester in a bid to get that game banned in China. A "small group" of employees reportedly walked out of its Irvine, California, headquarters in protest, according to the The Daily Beast.Blizzard and Tencent did not respond to requests for comment.CNN Business' Jessie Yeung contributed to this report.

Other articles published by CNN

Posted Tuesday, 15 October 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Cyntoia Brown says she's honored to be the picture of what a second chance after prison looks like. Brown was granted clemency and released from prison after spending more than a decade jailed for killing Johnny Mitchell Allen, who...

Posted Tuesday, 15 October 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly shattered political tradition, may find himself in another unprecedented circumstance in 2020: He could become the first president ever to be impeached by the House and then seek another term in the next...

Posted Tuesday, 15 October 2019 ‐ CNN

More women have found their way into the C-suite in the past five years. But reaching parity with men in leadership roles is still far out of reach.The percentage of C-suite executives who are women has risen to 21%, up...

Posted Tuesday, 15 October 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)A version of this story first appeared in CNN's Impeachment Watch newsletter. To get it in your inbox, sign up for free here.Two important things happened Monda in the impeachment inquiry: one of the key people involved...

Posted Tuesday, 15 October 2019 ‐ CNN

Washington (CNN)A wide range of American military personnel and defense officials are expressing a deep sense of frustration and anger at the Trump administration's refusal to support Syrian Kurds facing a Turkish military assault, over half a dozen US...

Posted Tuesday, 15 October 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Twelve Democrats will line up in swing state Ohio on Tuesday for a crucial debate in their White House battle, which will unfold as their party gears up to consider impeachment -- the ultimate political sanction -- against President Donald...

Posted Tuesday, 15 October 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Basketball star LeBron James has finally weighed in on the ongoing NBA-China dispute, criticizing Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey as being misinformed about the situation. The league is embroiled in a standoff with China after Morey...

Posted Tuesday, 15 October 2019 ‐ CNN

Washingtion (CNN)The White House said it waived executive privilege claims for former top Russia adviser Fiona Hill related to President Donald Trump's July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. However, White House deputy counsel Michael...

Posted Tuesday, 15 October 2019 ‐ CNN

Hong Kong (CNN Business)Optimism is fading over last week's tentative trade truce between the United States and China.Asian stocks were mixed Tuesday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index (HSI) inched down 0.1%. China's Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP) dropped...

Posted Tuesday, 15 October 2019 ‐ CNN

New York (CNN Business)According to Ronan Farrow's new book, The National Enquirer's top editor directed staffers to shred documents when the Wall Street Journal called for comment before publishing the first story about the Enquirer's "catch and kill"...

Posted Tuesday, 15 October 2019 ‐ CNN

Hong Kong (CNN)Scientist Sandy Song remembers when she first saw the aggressive swirl of the monster storm approaching on satellite images at her office at the Hong Kong Observatory. "I was afraid," she says. "It had a very sharp eyewall and also the...

Posted Tuesday, 15 October 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)A man walked into a California police department Monday and told officers he had killed four people, police say. One of the bodies was in the car the suspect drove to the Mt. Shasta Police Department. His three other victims were in his apartment...

Posted Tuesday, 15 October 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Almost exactly a year since Jayme Closs was kidnapped and her parents killed, the 13-year-old says she's happy to be back home and doing what she enjoys. "I really want to thank everyone for all of the kindness and concern that people all over the...

Posted Tuesday, 15 October 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Pacific Gas & Electric should give rebates or credits to each of its nearly 800,000 customers affected by last week's power shutoffs, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said, demanding that the utility "be held accountable."The utility intentionally...

Posted Tuesday, 15 October 2019 ‐ CNN

Washington (CNN)Attorneys for President Donald Trump's former top Russia adviser argued in a letter sent on Sunday that no executive privilege issues were in play for her testimony, citing potential "government misconduct" as one reason for their...