China Bureaucratic War over Online Warcraft Heats Up

Reuters reports on a growing tiff between the Ministry of Culture and the General Administration for Press and Publications (GAPP) over regulation of the online game World of Warcraft:

The rare public turf war between the two agencies has exposed the tricky regulatory undergrowth that Internet companies must navigate in China.

China’s Communist Party leadership has demanded tighter control over the Internet and online gaming, worried about images and ideas it sees as pornographic, unhealthy or subversive.

[...] “The Ministry of Culture believes the notice from the General Administration of Press and Publication does not conform to the relevant regulations, and clearly oversteps its authority,” said Li Xiong, a Ministry of Culture official in charge of market affairs, according to the paper.

Li’s unyielding comments suggested that the bureaucratic warfare over Warcraft, a role-playing game in which subscribers complete quests, slay monsters and fight among themselves, may not end immediately.