Online video games were recently caught in the crosshairs of Chinese state media, which initially called them “spiritual opium” in an article that was widely circulated. According to Reuters, they tempered their criticism after the article drove down shares in Tencent Holdings while still stressing concern over the use of the internet by minors.
“No industry should be allowed to develop in a way that will destroy a generation,” they wrote. The phrase “spiritual opium” was later removed from the article, but before it was, video game and technology companies took a dive in the stock market.
The article reignited fears about state intervention in the video game industry.