PUBG esports banned in China over government regulations

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All PUBG esports competitions have been banned in China due to a lack of approval from the Chinese government’s regulatory agency, the National Press and Publication Administration (NAPP).

An extremely popular game in China, the long-standing battle royale title has been awaiting game approval by the NAPP, but this change looks set to affect the lives of many players across the country.

This includes the PUBG Champions League (PCL), a franchised league in China with millions in prize pools and that gives players the chance to etch their names in esports history with qualification to the PUBG Global Championship.

Tencent’s live streaming platform Penguin Esports has removed PUBG broadcasts entirely. Similarly, DouYu and Huya have changed the Chinese name of PUBG to “Chicken Game” and “Daily Chicken Dinner”, respectively.

Nico AlsemgeestNico Alsemgeest
Top Chinese players will no longer be able to compete in PUBG thanks to this regulation.

The original report, from Sports Business Journal, saw confirmation of the ban from Yibo Zhang, Vice President of China Culture Management Association Esports Committee.

“This ban will affect thousands of PUBG tournament organizers, teams, content creators, streamers, and professional players,” Zhang told SBJ. “It’s not clear whether PUBG will be banned on live streaming platforms. So far it’s only PUBG competitions.”

PUBG isn’t the only game that hasn’t received NAPP approval, with others, such as Valorant and Apex Legends, still waiting for government green light. According to SBJ, the PUBG ban is a regulation likely targeting Steam because it’s an overseas gaming platform.

How this affects the PUBG Global Championship, due to kick off on November 19, remains to be seen.