Vietnam game provider pulls out Chinese game containing territorial claim

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A screen grab from Chinese-made game Chinh Do 2.0 showing China's territorial claims.

Vietnam's biggest online gaming firm VNG has pulled the plug on the Chinese-made game ZT Online since it promotes China's illegal territorial claims over the East Sea.

Bui Minh Phuong, chief of the department that providing games, told Tuoi Tre newspaper that on December 16 -- two days after the latest version of the game was released -- his company noticed a map in it showing the "nine-dash line" including most of the East Sea, including Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos, that demarcates Chinese territory.

VNG immediately pulled out the map, he said, adding it had not been included in the deal with the game producer Giant Interactive.

Though not providing the game would mean big losses for VNG, it will get tough with its partners who violate agreements in terms of culture, politics, and territorial issues, it said.

The number of gamers playing ZT Online, or Chinh Do in Vietnamese, had increased significantly since its launch in Vietnam last April. VNG had said there were five servers each hosting 15,000 computers for the game as of September.

According to Doan Do Ngoc Thi, head of the communications division, the firm also has five other Chinese-made online games, and it is checking them as well.

Vietnamese gamers have come down strongly on this, saying the territorial claim made in the game is "unacceptable" and VNG made a mistake by not seeing it earlier.

They said authorities should carefully check all online games coming from China.

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