China spells out game approvals

Business | Bloomberg and Xinhua 23 Apr 2019

Chinese regulators have sketched out new requirements for videogame approvals following a year of scrutiny, providing more clarity to Tencent (0700) and other players struggling with a crackdown in the world's largest gaming market.

The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television issued notices on April 19 that detailed the documentation and processes required to get games approved for release in the country. Among other things, publishers will now have to submit more information from measures to curb play addiction to detailed scripts.

Daniel Ahmad, an analyst at Chinese game researcher Niko Partners, said the announcement was "extremely important." The regulator will now simultaneously work through the backlog of titles submitted since August as well as new applications after April 22, the company said in a blog post. It expects fewer than 5,000 new games to get the green light this year, with low-quality copycat, poker and mahjong games most likely to fail.

Meanwhile, Tencent said yesterday it will keep children under the age of 16 out of their targeted customers in a new online game.

The company will use real-name verification to make sure that users are older than 16, it said.

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