China slows game approvals to enforce stricter new rules

China is reviewing game approvals to make sure they meet the new rules the government unveiled last month to protect children from gaming addiction, sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News.  

On August 30, China’s National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA) announced that, starting this month, gaming companies would be required to limit play time for minors to three hours a week, from 8 PM to 9 PM on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

Sources who wanted to remain anonymous said the NPPA last month rejected game approvals submitted by developers including Tencent and NetEase, asking them to resubmit their titles in compliance with the rules.

One of the sources said that regulators are cracking down on highly-popular zombie-themed titles because they are ‘’too scary’’ by the standards of the NPPA. 

Another source added they are also performing a strict scrutiny over what they see as ‘undesirable subjects’, such as the ‘’boys’ love’’ themes that are becoming more and more popular.  

Earlier last month, a state-owned Chinese newspaper called online gaming ‘opium for the mind’ and ‘electronic drugs’. Following the news, NetEase shares dropped as much as 15% and Tencent shares 10% in early trading. 

Written by Maya Robertson


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