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China resumes approval of new video games, sparking share surge

Zhu Shenshen
China is resuming approval for new game publication and sales after a freeze since March, Shanghai Daily learned today.
Zhu Shenshen

China is resuming approval for new game publication and sales after a freeze since March, Shanghai Daily learned on Friday.

Stocks in game firms, including Tencent in the Hong Kong market and Perfect World and Yoozoo in domestic markets, surged today after the news.

Feng Shixin, a senior official of the Publicity Department of China, said that the regulator is “speeding up the approval process” and that the first batch of approvals for games has been completed.

Feng, who announced the news in a game industry conference held in Haikou today, also asked the industry to be “more patient” because of the huge volume of games waiting for approval.

China, the world's biggest gaming market, stopped approving new titles from March amid a regulatory overhaul triggered by growing criticism of violence in video games and addiction among young users.

China announced two weeks ago it will form a body to evaluate ethical issues in video games, amid concerns of gaming addiction and myopia among the country's youth.

Tencent, China's biggest game publisher, surged 4.6 percent to hit 315.6 Hong Kong dollars (US$40.5) by 2:00pm today, 26 percent higher than the recent low price of HK$251 on October 30.

By 2pm, Yoozoo surged 9.8 percent to hit 18.15 yuan (US$2.63). The Perfect World jumped 7.1 percent to 28.23 yuan, while Shenzhen Zqgame jumped by the 10 percent daily limit.

China's game industry revenue has so far reached 214.4 billion yuan this year, 5.3 percent growth year-on-year, industry officials said at the conference today.

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