China reportedly suspends approval for new online games

Asian Tech Press (Sep 9) -- China has temporarily suspended approvals for new online games, the South China Morning Post reported exclusively on Thursday.

The report said the decision to suspend approvals was disclosed at a meeting on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the publicity department of the Chinese Communist Party, gaming watchdog the National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA), together with cybersecurity regulator the State Internet Information Office (SIIO) and other departments, held a meeting with key online game enterprises such as Tencent and NetEase, as well as platforms for renting and selling game accounts and live game streaming platforms.

This is another move by China to prevent minors from becoming addicted to online games. Previously, the NPPA issued the Notice on Further Stricter Management to Effectively Preventing Minors from Indulging in Online Games, which further tightens management measures against minors' excessive use and even addiction to online games.

The South China Morning Post cited sources familiar with the matter as saying that game approvals would be suspended "for a while" in order to "reduce the number of new games" in China, the world's largest video game market. But the report also stressed that it was not clear how long the suspension would last.

Tencent stocks on Sep 9
NetEase stock on Sep 9

Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK) and NetEase Inc (9999.HK) plunged in response to the news. As of the close of trading today, Tencent fell 8.48% to close at HK$480 per share. And NetEase dropped 9% and closed at HK$133.9 per share.

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