China to import 44 foreign video games, grants multiple licences to ... - Reuters

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HONG KONG, Dec 29 (Reuters) - China's video crippled regulator granted publishing licences to 44 overseas games for home release,including 7 from South Korea, further lifting rigid curbs that person hammered the manufacture for 18 months.

South Korean gaming stocks, including Netmarble Corp (251270.KS), NCSOFT (036570.KS), Krafton (259960.KS), Kakao Games (293490.KQ) and Devsisters (194480.KQ) jumped betwixt 2% and much than 17% successful greeting commercialized connected Thursday, a time aft Chinese authorities granted publishing licenses.

The support of 7 South Korean games is important due to the fact that China has restricted the import of South Korean contented since a 2017 quality implicit South Korea's installation of a U.S. rocket defence shield. Before this caller list, lone 2 South Korean games had been approved.

Among the imported online games approved by the National Press and Publication Administration are 5 to beryllium published by Tencent Holdings (0700.HK) specified arsenic "Pokémon Unite" by Nintendo (7974.T) and "Valorant" by Riot Games, according to a database the regulator released.

The regulator initially released a database of 45 approved imported games. It removed Yoozoo's (002174.SZ) "Game of Thrones: Winter is Coming" aboriginal connected Wednesday, without giving a reason. Yoozoo appears, however, to already person a license, according to a papers the authorization published successful September.

Yoozoo did not instantly respond to a petition for comment.

The regulator besides approved 84 home games for the period of December, according to a abstracted database released connected Wednesday.

The support of imported games efficaciously marks the extremity of China's crackdown connected the video crippled manufacture which began successful August past twelvemonth erstwhile regulators suspended the crippled support process.

Regulators resumed issuing crippled licenses to homegrown games successful April, and the support of overseas games was seen arsenic the past regulatory curb to beryllium removed.

Pokemon games are seen connected merchantability successful a GameStop successful Manhattan, New York, U.S., December 7, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Unlike successful astir different countries, video games request support from regulators earlier merchandise successful China, the world's largest gaming market.

The year-long crackdown connected the manufacture has dealt a important stroke to Chinese tech companies including Tencent and NetEase Inc (9999.HK) which deduce important gross from publishing some self-developed and imported games.

Through assorted affiliated companies, Tencent, the world's largest gaming company, has efficaciously received a full of six licences successful December, a root with cognition of the substance told Reuters.

Tencent lone received its archetypal commercial crippled licence successful implicit a year-and-a-half past month, which was seen past arsenic an important awesome towards argumentation normalisation for the industry.

Other imported games approved see CD Projekt's (CDR.WA) "Gwent: The Witcher Card Game" and Klei Entertainment's "Don't Starve".

Besides Tencent, NetEase, ByteDance, XD Inc (2400.HK) and iDreamSky (1119.HK) person besides received crippled approvals successful December.

Shares of Tencent, XD Inc, iDreamSky roseate betwixt 0.8% and 5.2% successful Hong Kong, portion Japan's Nintendo (7974.T) gained 0.2%.

The fig of licences granted are less than successful erstwhile years. China approved 76 imported games successful 2021 and 456 successful 2017.

In a year-end meeting this month, Pony Ma, laminitis of Tencent, said that the institution had to get utilized to Beijing’s strict licensing regime, and the fig of caller games that China approves would stay constricted successful the agelong run.

Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Editing by Tom Hogue, Emelia Sithole-Matarise & Simon Cameron-Moore

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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