Briefing: Tencent and NetEase finally granted much-needed game licenses

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China finally grants a game license to Tencent-TechCrunch

What happened: Tencent and NetEase have finally been issued licenses for new game titles. Two games developed by Tencent and one by NetEase have been included on a list of nearly 200 titles that were assigned licenses in January by China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television.

Why it’s important: Chinese regulators restarted the approval process in December following a nine month moratorium on granting licenses. Tencent and NetEase, two of China’s most prominent game developers, were excluded from the first three batches of the approvals. The licenses are typically granted on a first-come, first-served basis, and titles are reviewed in order according to their application dates. However, industry experts warn that the approval process is slower than before, as regulators look more closely at game content. Nearly 260 games have been approved this month, much slower than an average monthly approval rate of around 700 in 2017. Overall almost 9,400 games were approved in 2017.