Re: Blizzard Streisand
Do you think maybe that might be part of the intent here? You have companies like Apple, Blizzard and others walking a fine line to keep the Chinese happy to avoid impact that relationship, but knowing that the publicity around their actions can easily have the opposite effect the Chinese leaders desire.
Had Blizzard ignored this guy his statement would not have been reported outside the gaming community and probably gained little notice in the west. By banning him with immediate effect and confiscating his prize money it made headlines and he got far more notice than his actions ever would have.
By dropping the Taiwanese flag from the HK localization of iOS (but leaving the image in the OS making it easy to copy into messages, or to type via an alternative localization for the keyboard) Apple did the minimum possible to assuage the Chinese government without actually doing anything - and probably due to this publicity people in Hong Kong will be putting the Taiwanese flag in more messages/posts than they were before (even if it takes a few extra seconds to cut and paste it out of an older message) just to thumb their nose at China's ham-fisted attempts to repress the population.
Blizzard could have waited and simply rejected this guy's entry in future tournaments for some unspecified reason, and it would have been ignored and no one could have connected it with the Chinese. If Apple really wanted to give the Chinese what they want, they could have made it impossible to type or copy/paste the Taiwanese flag in Hong Kong - they could have even geofenced it if they were really on China's side. Instead they did the minimum possible, in the most public way, and in a way that doesn't affect Hong Kong's protestors at all - in fact it tells them there's something they can include in their messages that will upset the Chinese leadership.
Side note - I successfully copied the Taiwanese flag into this message and can see it in the edit window, but it doesn't show up in the preview and when I try to submit it fails without any error message. Weird.