Chinese authorities slow down approval process for new online games

China has temporarily slowed down the approval process for all new online games. This step is another measure in the fight against gambling addiction among young people. The South China Morning Post said a strategy to slow down approval decisions for new games was announced Wednesday following a meeting with Chinese authorities with gaming companies including Tencent and NetEase.



In August, China banned children under 18 from playing video games for more than three hours a week, saying it is necessary to curb growing gambling addiction among its young people. China has undertaken a large-scale package of measures in the technology sector to increase government control over this area.

Sources familiar with the matter say the government is committed to reducing the number of new games, and delays in the licensing process are necessary to ensure a smooth and successful rollout of measures to reduce gambling addiction among minors. In addition, it is reported that gaming companies have been instructed to cleanse their games of what the authorities call “Wrong set of values”including “Worship of money” and “Homosexual love”



The orders given to game publishers signal the determination of Chinese regulators to rein in the industry, analysts said. The decision is likely to seriously hit the gaming business. When Beijing last suspended video game approvals, more than 28,000 video game companies closed in 2018 and 2019.

Chinese regulators usually approve dozens of games developed by domestic studios every month, but they are very strict about foreign online games. In the first half of this year, 592 games were approved, which is more than 575 games in the same period last year, but falls short of the result of the first half of 2019, when 850 new games were approved.

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Robbie Elmers

Robbie Elmers is a staff writer for Tech News Space, covering software, applications and services.

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