China grants licenses to 45 foreign games in December

Image Source: Pokémon Unite

China’s National Press and Publication Administration announced on Wednesday that it has granted publishing licenses to a total of 45 imported and 84 local video games, allowing them to be released in the country, as reported by Reuters.

The most notable titles included in the list shared by the online game regulator are “Gwent: The Witcher Card Game” by CD Projekt, and “Pokémon Unite” by Nintendo and Tencent Games’ owned TiMi Studios.

Tencent and NetEase are among the biggest tech companies challenged by China’s crackdown on online gaming. In August last year, their shares dropped as much as 10% and 15% respectively, after a state-owned newspaper called online gaming ‘opium for the mind’ and ‘electronic drugs.

Soon after that, the Chinese government suspended game approvals to make sure that companies comply with its newly-announced rules which now require them to limit playtime for children to 3 hours per week. The country put an end to the approval freeze in April when it granted licenses to 45 titles including “Party Star” by Baidu and XD Inc.

Last month, China’s top industry body said that the country has resolved game addiction among minors thanks to the restrictions on playtime and the ‘’remarkable results’’ game companies achieved by setting up systems.

On the other hand, CNG recently reported that Chinese mobile games revenue dropped 19% Y/Y in the third quarter of 2022 as the number of games that got banned increased by 89%.

Still, China continues to be the leader of the mobile gaming industry with the highest number of gamers. However, India is slowly closing the gap, according to a recent report from Niko Partners.

Meanwhile, popular short video platform TikTok, owned by the Chinese tech giant ByteDance, is also facing legal challenges in the United States. This week, the U.S. House of Representatives has banned the app from all the devices it owns.

Written by Sophie Blake


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