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 granted approvals to 73 new games.

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

Other game developers that received licenses on Tuesday include XD Inc., Migu Culture Technology Co. Ltd. and CMGE Technology Group.

Tencent Holdings Ltd., the world’s largest game developer and operator of messaging platform WeChat, still did not make the latest list, although a subsidiary – Nanjing Wangdian Technology – got a Licence.

NetEase shares in the United States gained more than 5% in premarket trading.

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

NetEast and its biggest rival Tencent, the country’s two main game developers, were left out in previous endorsements released in April, June, July and August.

According to industry data provider CNG, China’s gaming industry revenue fell 7.14 percent in July to 20.8 billion yuan ($3 billion), the third monthly decline.

But there was a sign that Beijing was loosening its grip on the industry. In July, 27 departments released a document outlining an upcoming pilot program to change the approval process for new video games. The document doesn’t mention many fresh details, but Caixin learned that approvals can be processed faster if the applying company is based in the same location as the company operating the game.

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

Contact reporter Han Wei ([email protected]) and editor Bob Simonon ([email protected])

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