China’s gaming boom hit by freeze in licensing as propaganda body takes charge – SCMP

What happened: The Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda department is being given the power to license online games as it seeks greater control of cultural content. Approvals of new games have been suspended since March, with delays expected for the next six months.

Why it’s important: China’s gaming industry is the biggest in the world, but the past six months have been trying for game developers. Changing regulations have resulted in the slowest first-half growth in the sector in a decade. Tencent has even attributed its disappointing first-half results to the regulatory reshuffle. The company pulled hit title Monster Hunter: World from its WeGame platform days after it was released due to complaints about violence and tightening regulation. However, the government sees the initiative as a way to battle myopia and regulate what it sees as harmful content.

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Chris Udemans

Christopher Udemans is a Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covers Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, and cybersecurity. You can contact him at chrisudemans [at] technode [dot] com.