Activision Blizzard gave a one-year suspension to an e-gamer for making a pro-Hong Kong comment. After winning a Hearthstone Grandmasters match, player Chung Ng-wai, also known as Blitzchung, shouted, "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times," in a post-game interview on October 6. Blizzard Entertainment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, said Blitzchung violated competition rules with his statement. Chinese gaming giant Tencent owns a 5% stake in Activision Blizzard. The company also has a partnership with Chinese internet company NetEase. Blizzard is receiving backlash on social media for its action.
Meanwhile, China has suspended its broadcasts of the NBA, after the league’s commissioner Adam Silver defended Daryl Morey’s freedom to express support for the Hong Kong protests. Since Morey, GM of the Houston Rockets, tweeted support of the protests last week, the team and NBA have attempted to distance themselves from his statement. On Tuesday, China Central Television issued a statement on Weibo noting its "strong dissatisfaction and opposition" to Silver’s comments and announcing it would stop broadcasting NBA preseason games in the country.
In other China news, South Park has been scrubbed from the Chinese internet. The Chinese government made the move after the show’s episode, "Band in China," critiqued how Hollywood shapes its content to avoid offending Chinese government censors. South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker issued a sarcastic apology on Monday after China's crackdown. "Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts," they said in a statement on Twitter. "We too love money more than freedom and democracy."
Martin Sorrell’s S4 Capital has bought Silicon Valley’s largest digital marketing agency Firewood for $150 million. Firewood will merge with S4’s digital content division MediaMonks. Former WPP CEO Sorrell told CNBC’s Squawk Box Europe on Tuesday that the merger had been finalized this month.
Kroger and Walgreens are the latest retailers to discontinue the sale of electronic cigarettes. Kroger made the decision based on "mounting questions and an increasingly-complex regulatory environment," while Walgreens did it "as the CDC, FDA and other health officials continue to examine the issue." Walmart said in September it will stop selling e-cigarettes in its Walmart and Sam’s Clubs locations and Rite Aid ended the sale of e-cigarettes in April. (CNBC)