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China is once again issuing game licenses after a months-long freeze

China is once again issuing game licenses after a months-long freeze

December 21, 2018 | By Alissa McAloon

December 21, 2018 | By Alissa McAloon
More: Smartphone/Tablet

Chinese regulators are once again reviewing games submitted for license consideration in China, putting an end to the licensing freeze that had halted game approvals for the bulk of 2018.

According to TechCrunch, one set of games has already been evaluated under the freshly restructured system and that licenses for approved games should be assigned in the near future.

Prior to today, Chinese game makers had been enduring a nine-month-long freeze on the approval process that typically greenlights games for release and monetization in China. The halt was the result of an internal power reshuffling that now sees the government’s Central Propaganda committee’s State Administration of Press & Publication taking control of the approval process, a move that aims to give the central government more control over the country’s game market.

Now up and running again, the approval process is both looking to bar games that are deemed to contain pornography, gambling, violence, historical misrepresentations, and other potentially inappropriate content, according to a statement made by a senior member of the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda department.

That senior member,  Feng Shixin, also notes that there is currently a “big stockpile of games for review” so the process of getting approvals up to date could take some time. While Feng did not comment on the topic in his official address, Nikos Parkers’ Lisa Hanson told the South China Morning Post that domestic games are seemingly the first in line for approval consideration, while foreign titles will follow after. 

In the wake of the approval thaw, TechCrunch reports that shares of major Chinese game makers have already seen a notable rise. Tencent’s shares have increased by 4 percent since the announcement while NetEase has seen a 1 percent increase. 

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