China approves 105 online games this Christmas, a gesture of support after draft curbs caused huge losses

BANGKOK (AP) — China's Press and Publication Authority has approved 105 new online games, saying it fully supports the industry following proposed restrictions. caused massive damage Last week for investors in major game makers.

The National Press and Publication Administration released a statement on its WeChat social media account on Monday, saying the approval by the Game Working Committee of the China Music and Digital Association is a "positive sign that supports the prosperity and healthy development of the online game industry."

Tencent's "Counter War: Future" and NetEase's "Firefly Assault" were among the games approved.

Share prices of video game makers such as Tencent and NetEase fell on Friday as draft guidelines to curb online gaming caused tens of billions of dollars in losses and sent Chinese benchmarks lower.

The administration's guidelines state that online games will be banned from offering incentives for daily log-ins or purchases. Other restrictions include limiting how much users can recharge and issuing warnings for "irrational consumption behaviour".

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On Friday, NetEase's Nasdaq-traded shares fell 16.1%, while its Hong Kong-traded shares fell 25%. Tencent closed down 12%. Huya Inc., a small online game manufacturing company. It lost 10.7% on the New York Stock Exchange. Overall, the companies lost billions of dollars in market value.

The Hong Kong market was closed on Monday due to the Christmas holiday. Share prices in Shanghai remained stable.

The Press and Publication Administration stated that in 2023, 1,075 game edition numbers were released, of which 977 were domestically produced and 98 were imported.

It also cited the "2023 China Game Industry Report", which said sales revenue for the domestic online game market in 2023 is expected to exceed 300 billion yuan ($42 billion), with the number of people playing games reaching 668 million. Reached.

“The Game Working Committee hopes that member units will use this opportunity to launch more high-quality products, promote the high-quality development of the online game industry, and promote cultural prosperity and development, and build a culturally powerful country.” Will do to contribute,” it said. ,

China has taken several measures against the online gaming sector in recent years.

In 2021, citing concerns about video gaming addiction, regulators limited the time children can spend on games to just three hours a week. Approval of new video games was suspended for about eight months, but resumed in April 2022 as a broader crackdown on the entire technology industry was eased.

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