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What game developers need to know about China's local server requirements

What game developers need to know about China's local server requirements

Following recent announcements by the Chinese National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA), all games published in China must have an exclusive server for Chinese players, separate from their global servers.

Before the new regulations, games could let players from around the world chat and interact with each other. It is now confirmed that such functions will no longer be allowed, as Chinese players may only interact with others on the mainland.

Upon implementation, games without an exclusive local server for Chinese players will not be eligible for a valid ISBN and will be removed from Chinese app stores.

In order to set up a local server, however, it will be necessary to obtain an Internet Content Provider (ICP) license from the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

The ICP license covers businesses such as e-commerce websites, as well as apps and mobile games—since they involve monetary transactions. For foreign entities, however, the license is not easy to come by without an established legal presence on the mainland.

With years of experience navigating Chinese regulations, Yodo1 has established best practices that will also help you set up a local server for your game. We provide the regulatory framework and expedient communication needed to ensure the continuity of your game and your success in China.

By establishing a local server in China, your game has a higher chance of succeeding as players will have a better connection and overall experience

Luckily, the NPPA’s new requirement is not all bad news. In this article, we’d like to highlight how your game can benefit from having a local server. We’ll help you get started so you can better cater to China’s more than 600 million players.

Advantages of having a local Chinese server

A prime pain point of games that employ global servers is the inconsistent gaming experience caused by the difference in network latency between regions.

With the vast majority of developers using a single global server for all users, Chinese players often get the short end of the stick as their connections to these servers are sub-par at best.

Experience has taught us that players who encounter this issue in a game are likely to abandon it entirely, leaving only bad reviews behind.

The second point of consideration is language barriers. In multi-player games where collaboration is key, Chinese players often struggle to communicate with international teammates. This affects the quality of gameplay and their chances of success.

By establishing a local server in China, your game has a higher chance of succeeding as players will have a better connection and overall experience.

In conclusion

There are multiple cloud servers available in China, some of which have been successfully deployed for major international titles.

Yodo1 recommends the following:

  1. Alibaba Cloud
  2. Tencent Cloud
  3. Ucloud
  4. Kingsoft Cloud
  5. Amazon Web Services China (AWS)

In addition to setting up a cloud server, content delivery network (CDN) technology is often implemented to speed up the distribution of resources and allow players to quickly access game materials.

According to China regulations, all CDN providers can only accelerate the content distribution for registered domains and websites authorized by the Chinese government.

Our advice is to find a trusted local partner who can help you comply with every regulation and come out on top.

In the process of helping you obtain a valid ISBN license, we will provide you with an ICP license and set up your local Chinese server. In addition, Yodo1 will work with you to optimize marketing, UA, and local ad network monetization—as well as provide IP licensing opportunities.

To learn more about how to reach China’s 600+ million mobile gamers, contact us at bd@yodo1.com.


About Yodo1
Yodo1 is a game platform company that helps developers better market, manage, and monetize their games. Our AI-powered tools and global expertise in areas such as mobile ads, community management, and digital IP licensing enable partners to increase playtime, revenue, and retention. Our vision is to open the world of gaming success to anyone with the talent to develop. To learn more, visit www.yodo1.com and follow us on our Linkedin.


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