Beijing approves new online games for the first time in months, giving tech giants boost

Chinese regulators have given the green light for new online games for the first time in nine months, as the tech clampdown looks to be showing signs of easing.

Tech giants, including Tencent have come under large-scale regulatory scrutiny from governing bodies over the past two years after Xi Jinping’s regime decided to overhaul the country’s private sector and move towards “common prosperity”.

The policy has targeted some of China‘s wealthiest individuals and companies and hopes to widen the nation’s middle class.

Gaming has been hit hard by the policy, but both edtech and fintech have also suffered.

Chinese regulators halted game approvals in July last years over concerns the country’s children were addicted to online titles that were not aligned with Communist party values.

It was only a month later that Chinese children were banned from playing video games for more than three hours a week, which impacted providers NetEase and Tencent’s revenue.

Online gaming platform Roblox was also hit by the restrictions after it planned to break into the Chinese market of 720 million gamers.

On Monday, the Chinese National Press and Publication Administration published a list of 45 games which had been approved for release. No Tencent games made the list however.

The move comes as an effort by Chinese regulators to “support the healthy development of the [financial] market” after investors became spooked by an Omicron variant outbreak in the country.

Tencent has responded to the news by saying that its revenue growth had been hit by the process of complying with China’s gaming laws and regulations and having to restrict the access of minors to its titles.

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