During a meeting with video gaming companies including Tencent and NetEase on Wednesday, Chinese authorities revealed a critical decision: approvals for all new online games will be temporarily suspended, according to SCMP, citing people familiar with the matter.
The halt signals authorities' intention to "cut the number of new games" and "reduce gaming addiction" in China, according to SCMP, citing a person briefed on the discussion. It is currently unclear how long this halt will last.
The National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA) issues video game licenses for all games in China. Typically, they would publish approved games either in the middle or at the end of each month. The NPPA has not published the list for August yet.
As another step of China's campaign against gaming addiction, the drastic measure shows how seriously regulators are tackling this problem. Chinese authorities work closely with gaming companies to censor game content, restrict unfair competition, and curb "money-led" and "traffic-led" marketing. Last week, NPPA published new rules limiting minors' gaming time to 3 hours per week.