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China licenses 69 online games, Tencent and NetEase again off the list

August 2, 2022 1:42 am

On Monday, China's gaming regulator announced that it has granted publishing licenses to 69 online games, including titles belonging to developers such as G-bits Network Technology Xiamen Co Ltd and iDreamSky.

Once again, titles belonging to gaming giants Tencent and NetEase were not on the approved list published by the state news and public administration.

This is the fourth time this year that Chinese regulators have issued gaming licenses. Chinese regulators stopped approving gaming licenses last July, severely impacting the industry and putting thousands of companies in the industry out of business. In April, Beijing ended a nine-month licensing freeze and restarted licensing game companies.

Last August, China also enacted its toughest ever ban on gaming sector, prohibiting online gamers under the age of 18 from playing on weekdays and limiting gaming to three hours on most weekends.

According to a report released by the China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association's Game Publishing Committee (GPC), China's video game market experienced its slowest revenue growth in three years in 2021 due to Beijing's crackdown on the industry, while the number of players remained stagnant. The industry's total sales revenue increased by 6.4% year on year in 2021, a significant decrease from the previous year's 20.7% rise.

Tencent's first-quarter earnings report showed that domestic game revenue fell 1% to 33 billion yuan, mainly due to the direct and indirect impact of minor protection measures on the number of active and paying users.