‘Genshin Impact’ doesn’t let you say ‘Taiwan’ or ‘Hong Kong’

Players have discovered that Genshin Impact filters ‘Taiwan’ and ‘Hong Kong’ from its in-game chat, in an apparent effort to abide by strict Chinese government censorship rules.

Genshin Impact launched just over a week ago and has already amassed a huge following. It achieved a staggering 17 million downloads in its first four days of availability, and has shown no signs of slowing down.

Despite its success, it hasn’t been completely smooth sailing for the free-to-play action RPG. Developer MiHoYo, which is based in mainland China, recently responded to concerns about the game’s anti-cheat system, which uses kernel-level access to monitor the raw data being processed by whatever device the game is running on.

Genshin Impact

Concerns echoed those recently expressed about kernel-level anti-cheat system of first-person shooter Valorant, which is developed and published by Riot Games, which is owned by tech giant Tencent, which is itself owned by the government of the People’s Republic of China.

Now, players are seeing the impact of the MiHoYo’s efforts to meet the stringent content restrictions demanded by the Chinese government. The chat system in Genshin Impact features a filter that censors a number of words, including politically sensitive terms like ‘Taiwan’, ‘Hong Kong’, ‘Falun Gong’, and more.

The Chinese government has historically been hostile towards video games in general, with measures ranging from restrictions on console sales to the freezing of approvals for new titles. In order to receive approval for release in China, a game cannot contain “anything that threatens China’s national unity”.

Genshin Impact‘s chat filter appears to be MiHoYo’s attempt to prevent the Chinese government’s mighty banhammer from coming crashing down. For the game’s players, the question becomes one of whether or not they’re happy to play by the Chinese government censor’s rules.