The shares of China’s biggest game publishers Tencent and NetEase rose after China’s National Printing and Publication Administration issued the first game licenses for 2023, which investors took as a sign of easing pressure on the industry.
Shares of Tencent are up 1.7% at open, while NetEase’s assets are up 5.8% to hit a four-month high. The day before it had become known that the specialized regulatory authority allowed 88 titles to enter the market, which was seen as a weakening of the government measures started in August 2021 – as a result, Beijing caused severe damage to the world’s largest gaming market.
Unlike most countries, all video games are approved by the regulator before entering the Chinese market. State measures are aimed at getting rid of content that Beijing doesn’t approve of for ideological reasons: excessive violence, glorification of wealth, and celebrity worship.
In late December, Chinese authorities issued licenses for the release of 45 foreign-made games, the first signal that restrictions would be lifted soon. The resumption of licensing began in April last year, foreign publishers had to wait until the end of December.