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Chinese gov't aims to tighten its hold on the mobile game market

Chinese gov't aims to tighten its hold on the mobile game market

June 6, 2016 | By Alex Wawro

Multiple China-focused outlets are reporting that the country's mobile game markets are about to get a fresh coat of red tape, as all mobile games released in the region will soon need pre-approval from the government.

Specifically, the State Administration of Press, Publications, Radio, Film, and Television (or SAPPRFT), which -- according to both Tech In Asia and China-focused market research firm Marbridge -- intends to require all mobile games to be submitted to it for pre-approval at least 20 business days before they're slated to be published.

These regulations will take effect July 1st, and if your game is already live in China you'll have until October 1st to retroactively submit it for SAPPRFT approval. And if a game gets a "significant expansion pack" or a name change, well, you'll have to resubmit it again.

This is a big deal because China is a big market for mobile developers -- last summer the number of mobile game players in China surpassed the entire population of the United States. Now it seems the process for launching and operating mobile games in the region is going to get quite a bit more complex -- if the SAPPRFT actually implements and maintains the standards it has laid out.

For more details, Tech In Asia has a pretty good overview of the proposed new SAPPRFT submission process -- and what sorts of licenses, permits, and post-launch government check-ins are required.

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