Mobile gaming regulation concerns erupt in China after private video leak

Chinese mobile game app published private user videos online.

It should come as no surprise that mobile gaming apps are popular in China, but one Chinese mobile app in particular called “FengKuang LaiWang” has recently received a lot of media attention after it was discovered that the mobile game leaked more than 35,000 user videos online, including video clips of users who were in their underwear or in the nude.

The videos were posted without player’s consent on Youku.

FengKuang LaiWang essentially translates to “Crazy Dealings”, and is a popular charade-style game available for download via Alibaba’s Laiwang chat service. The game is not unlike the mobile game “Heads Up!” that can be downloaded from Apple’s App Store. Basically, in this game, players take turns trying to guess the word that appears on the screen while other players act it out. Players video themselves acting out a charade and share the video privately with friends.

According to “Beijing News”, thousands of these videos wound up on the game’s Youku account, which is a Chinese video platform similar to YouTube, unbeknownst to the players. Some of the videos revealed players, who took the game to another level, wearing very little or nothing at all. Many players did not realize that their videos were being recorded and published to Youku.

Concerns regarding mobile gaming regulation resulted after the incident.

Mobile Gaming - Private Videos leaked on YoukuAs soon as the privacy blunder was reported by local media, the video-sharing feature of the game was disabled and the games account on China’s leading online video site was closed. Zhejiang Zhile Network, the game’s publisher, released a statement that said as soon as it realized the game was uploading video content without player consent it shut down the video-sharing function. The company apologized in a public statement saying that the game failed to inform users that their activities would be streamed online.

The company said that “Per this mistake, we, as the developer and operator of the game, apologize sincerely to affected users.” However, despite what happened, after news about the leak broke, downloads of FengKuang LaiWang have increased.

Nonetheless, as was noted by the “South China Morning Post”, the leak has resulted in people within the Chinese game industry questioning the safety and security of the mobile gaming regulations.

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