China grants approval for 86 domestic online games in April

April 24, 2023

By Sharan Kaur Phillora

The National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA), the agency that oversees online games in China, has granted publishing licenses to 86 domestic online games. This includes popular titles from Alibaba Group Holding Limited, Baidu, Inc, and TikTok parent ByteDance Ltd. The move is a positive sign of easing regulatory pressures for gaming stocks and the tech sector.

Here’s what we know: 

The gaming industry in China had faced a months-long freeze in the world’s largest mobile game market, with the country stopping license issuances in July 2021 after Beijing tightened rules.

In April 2022, the NPPA began granting publishing licenses to new titles, marking a significant shift in policy. Later in November 2022, Tencent Holding Ltd, the world’s largest gaming company, received its first commercial game license in a year and a half since the crackdown on the sector began. 

The permit was for a mobile game named “Wangzhewanxiangqi.” Other companies also received approvals, including Alibaba for “Chunqiuxuanqi,” NetEase for “Journey to the West: Shillong,” XD Inc for “Sausage Party,” and ByteDance for “Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.” 

As a result, Alibaba and other Chinese tech stocks saw a surge in premarket trading. Alibaba’s stock rallied 12% to $117.19, its highest level since early April, after gaining more than 5% on Tuesday.

It is expected that the Chinese regulator will license 1,100 games by then end of 2023.

About the author

Sharan Kaur Phillora’s thirst for knowledge has led her to study many different subjects, including NFTs and Blockchain technology – two emerging technologies that will change how we interact with each other in the future. When she isn’t exploring a new idea or concept, she enjoys reading literary masterpieces.

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