China approves release of 80 online video games after an eight month freeze

China, the world’s biggest gaming market, stopped approving new video games in March.


China on Saturday approved the release of 80 online video games after a freeze on such approvals for most of the year.

China approves release of 80 online video games after an eight month freeze

The Fortnite booth is shown at E3, the world's largest video game industry convention in Los Angeles, California. Image: Reuters

However, the approved titles, listed on the website of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, did not include games from industry leader Tencent Holdings Ltd.

China, the world’s biggest gaming market, stopped approving new video games in March amid a regulatory overhaul triggered by growing criticism of video games for being violent and allegations that they were causing myopia as well as addiction among young users.

In more recent news, Tencent Holdings shares surged on 23 December after a local regulatory official said some new video games had been cleared for sale, ending a lengthy freeze in approvals that has spooked players in the world’s largest gaming market.

Feng Shixin, a senior official of the ruling Communist Party’s Propaganda department, said in a speech at a gaming conference in the southern city of Haikou that a first batch of approvals for games had been completed, according to a transcript of the speech and the organizers of the event.