Tencent wins China regulator nod for launch of educational games, but not for PUBG

The games approved for Tencent are both educational games that teach architecture and craftsmanship.

Chinese regulators approved two mobile games of Tencent Holding Ltd for the first time in almost a year on Tuesday, but are yet to okay its closely awaited blockbuster title PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television approved 95 games in its fourth list since December, with two mobile games from Tencent and one from NetEase Inc, government data showed.

A Tencent Games logo from an app is seen on a mobile phone. Reuters

A Tencent Games logo from an app is seen on a mobile phone. Reuters

The two games approved for Tencent are Wood Joints and Folding Fan, both educational games that teach traditional Chinese architecture and craftsmanship.

Analysts and industry insiders say it is unlikely the two games can bring much revenue to Tencent, the world’s biggest game company and Asia’s biggest by market value, but the approval is still music to its ears as the last time its games were approved was prior to March 2018.

The hiatus hammered Tencent’s shares last year.

China is home to the world’s largest video game market, where 620 million players spent $37.9 billion last year mostly on mobile and PC games, showed data from gaming market researcher Newzoo.

But authorities stopped approving the release of new titles from March last year amid regulatory overhaul triggered by growing concern about violent content and game addiction, particularly among young players.

Zhan Chun Qiu, the NetEase game approved on Thursday, is a role-playing mobile game themed in China’s ancient Spring and Autumn Period when warlords and swordsmen fight each other.

But regulators are still stepping up efforts to tighten control over the country’s internet. China’s cyber watchdog said on Thursday it has deleted close to 8,000 “malicious” mobile apps including a video game distributed by Tencent.

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