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China’s Censorship Crackdown Reaches Video Games

Chinese government blocks approval of new online video games

China has temporarily slowed approvals of all new online video games in an effort to curb gaming addiction among young people, as a policy of blocking approvals emerged after a meeting Wednesday between Chinese authorities and game companies including Tencent Holdings and NetEase.

In August, the Chinese government decided to ban teenagers under the age of 18 from playing video games for more than three hours a week, saying it was necessary to control a growing addiction to what it described as a “spiritual opium“.

China recently launched a massive crackdown on many areas including technology, education and even property to consolidate government control over the markets after years of booming growth, but it is not yet clear when the obstacles to video game approvals will be eased. Note that there was a stalemate in granting approvals for video games during 2018, which extended for about 9 months, which negatively affected many small developers amid changes in the system of the Chinese censorship business model.

Chinese video game companies have been directed to “purify” their games by removing what authorities have described as a “set of false values” including “the glorification of money” and “gay love“, the companies were also reminded not to inflate their earnings from video games and to ensure that the younger generation did not become addicted to games.

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