Top NewsChina approves 105 online games after curbing massive traffic losses

China approves 105 online games after curbing massive traffic losses

BANGKOK (AP) — China's Press and Publications Commission has approved 105 new online games, saying it fully supports the industry after proposed bans. Caused huge losses Last week for investors in major game makers.

The National Press and Publication Administration released a statement on its WeChat social media account on Monday, saying the approvals from the China Music and Digital Association's Game Working Group were “positive signals supporting the prosperity and healthy development of the online game industry.”

Approved games include Tencent's “Counter War: Future” and Netease's “Firefly Assault.”

Draft guidelines for restrictions on online gaming sent stock prices of video game makers such as Tencent and Netize plummeting on Friday, causing tens of billions of dollars in losses and dragging down Chinese benchmarks.

The administration's guidelines said online games would be barred from offering incentives for daily logins or purchases. Other restrictions include limiting how much users can recharge and issuing warnings for “irrational consumption behaviour”.

On Friday, Netties' Nasdaq-traded shares fell 16.1%, while Hong Kong-traded shares fell 25%. Tencent fell 12%. Huya Inc., a small online game maker, lost 10.7% on the New York Stock Exchange. In total, the companies lost billions of dollars in market value.

Hong Kong's market was closed on Monday for the Christmas holiday. Shanghai stock prices were flat.

In 2023, the Press and Publications Administration reported that 1,075 game version numbers were issued, of which 977 were domestically produced and 98 were imported.

It cited the “2023 China Game Industry Report” as saying that sales revenue of the domestic online games market will exceed 300 billion yuan ($42 billion) in 2023, and the number of game players will reach 668 million.

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“The Sports Executive Committee hopes that member units will use this opportunity to release more high-quality products, promote the high-quality development of the online game industry, promote cultural prosperity and development, and contribute to building a culturally powerful country,” it said. .

China has taken various measures against the online games industry in recent years.

In 2021, regulators limited the amount of time children can spend on games to three hours a week, citing concerns about video gaming addiction. Approvals for new video games were suspended for about eight months, but resumed in April 2022 as a broader crackdown on the technology industry as a whole eased.

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