Briefing: Tencent and NetEase excluded from latest video game approvals

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China approves third batch of video games; still no Tencent — Reuters

What happened: China’s broadcasting regulator on Tuesday approved the release of a third batch of video games. None of the 93 approved titles on the list were from Tencent, the world’s largest gaming company. Tencent’s domestic rival NetEase was also absent from the list for the third time. So far, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television has approved nearly 260 gaming titles since late December 2018, when the approval process resumed.

Why it’s important: China stopped granting video game licenses between March and December 2018, amid a restructuring of various government departments. No new titles were therefore published for nine months, and domestic gaming companies suffered as a result. Tencent reportedly lost around $160 billion in market value during the period, with a slew of other game producers laying off staff and even closing down. Small and medium gaming companies are seen to benefit most from the lifting of the moratorium, as Tencent and NetEase have been excluded from all the three batches of license approvals.