Caixin
Sep 14, 2022 04:47 AM
TECH

NetEase Wins First Video Game License in 14 Months

What’s new: Leading Chinese game developer NetEase Inc. received its first video game license since July 2021 as the industry regulator handed out approvals to 73 new games.

The National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA) Tuesday released a new list of video games approved for smartphones, personal computers and consoles, the fifth batch of such licenses issued since April after an eight-month hiatus. NetEase’s game All-Star Street Ball Party was on the list.

Other game developers receiving licenses Tuesday included XD Inc., Migu Culture Technology Co. Ltd. and CMGE Technology Group.

Tencent Holdings Ltd., the world's biggest game developer and the operator of the WeChat messaging platform, still missed out on the latest list, although a subsidiary — Nanjing Wangdian Technology — won a license.

NetEase shares in the U.S. gained over 5% in premarket trading.

Background: Since April, China’s game industry regulator has granted licenses to 314 domestically developed games, less than 23% of the total issued in 2020.

NetEast and larger rival Tencent, the country’s top two game developers, were left out in previous approvals released in April, June, July and August.

According to industry data provider CNG, revenue of China’s gaming industry declined 7.14% in July to 20.8 billion yuan ($3 billion), the third monthly drop.

But there was one sign that Beijing is easing its grip on the industry. In July, 27 government departments released a document describing a forthcoming pilot program that aims to alter the approval process for new video games. The document didn’t mention many fresh details, but Caixin learned that approvals may be processed more quickly if the applying company is based in the same place as the business that operates the game.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Contact reporter Han Wei (weihan@caixin.com) and editor Bob Simison (bob.simison@caixin.com)

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