Tencent and NetEase dominate the Chinese online game market. This is also the largest game market in the world – Photo: REUTERS
Newspaper sources South China Morning Post (SCMP) revealed that Beijing authorities had warned representatives of Tencent and NetEase during a summons on September 8.
Source of SCMP said approval of new games will be paused “for a while” as the priority is “cutting the number of new titles” and “reducing online gaming addiction”.
According to these sources, it is not clear how long the ban will last but will greatly affect Tencent and NetEase, the two largest online game publishers in China.
According to a summary of the September 8 summons published by Xinhua News Agency, representatives of Tencent and NetEase are required to strictly enforce the rule restricting gaming time with people under the age of 18.
In addition, the two companies were required to “clean up” the titles by removing what authorities described as deviant, including “money worship” and “gay love”.
Tencent and NetEase were also reminded that they must not maximize profits while forgetting about the effects of online games on society, and must ensure that teenagers are not addicted to games.
After being warned, Tencent and NetEase immediately complied. In an announcement on September 9, Tencent said that the company will postpone the launch of the most anticipated smartphone game this year. League of Legends: Wild Rift.
The announcement briefly explained that the release would be moved to after October 1 to conduct more “other tests”, according to SCMP.
This is not the first time China has banned the release of new online games. In 2018, a nine-month ban caused 28,000 companies in the game development sector to close in 2018 and 2019.
This move takes place in the context that China is conducting a wide-ranging overhaul of areas directly related to young people.
In addition to the problem of online game addiction, Beijing’s regulators have also tightened control of fanaticism and demanded the removal of male artists who are effeminate and “lack of masculinity”, programs they consider to be photos. adverse effects on adolescents.