Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Business

China ends gaming approval freeze, grants first licences since last July

China ends gaming approval freeze, grants first licences since last July
Video games have been blamed by Chinese authorities for social ills, including online addiction. (File photo: AFP/Greg Baker)

HONG KONG: China's gaming regulator on Monday (Apr 11) granted publishing licences to 45 games belonging to the likes of Baidu and XD Inc's "Party Star", ending a nine-month long freeze that has dealt a blow to many of the country's tech giants.

The National Press and Public Administration published the list on its website. Reuters reported that China had granted a licence to XD "Party Star" earlier in the day.

Other companies whose games received licences included iDreamSky, 37Games, a subsidiary of G-bits Network Technology Xiamen, Shenzhen Zqgame and Yoozoo Games, the list showed.

US-listed shares of Chinese gaming firms NetEase and Bilibili jumped 8 per cent and 8.6 per cent, respectively, in premarket trading.

Chinese regulators stopped approving game monetisation licences in July last year, impacting heavily the likes of industry giant Tencent and NetEase and putting thousands of firms in the industry out of business.

The pause coincided with a move by China in August to impose new gaming time limits on under-18s, a stringent social intervention that it said was needed to pull the plug on a growing addiction to what it once described as "spiritual opium".

The freeze was almost as long as an earlier suspension in 2018 when China stopped approving new video game titles over a nine-month period as part of an overhaul of the regulatory bodies that oversee the sector.

Source: Reuters/gr

Advertisement

Also worth reading

Advertisement