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NetEase and Tencent denied licenses in China

The companies were absent from the list of 67 new game approvals
NetEase and Tencent denied licenses in China
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Despite China once again approving video game licenses after an extended hiatus that ended in April, the country’s biggest gaming companies – NetEase and Tencent, the latter of which is the most profitable video game company in the world – have been denied licenses for new games.

The list of 67 granted licences marks the largest approval for new releases since the hiatus. This absence means that it has been a year since either company has had a new game approved. In that time, Tencent’s shares have fallen 26.8 per cent, while NetEase has seen a similar slump of 10.7 per cent in the same timeframe.

Bytedance receives multiple game approvals

Streaming service BiliBili and TikTok owner Bytedance both received game approvals, making them the first Big Tech companies in China to receive licenses since the country resumed issuing them.

Bytedance at one point sought to challenge Tencent’s dominance in the gaming market but has since scaled back its ambitions, including disbanding 101 Studio, the Shanghai-based studio it acquired in 2019.
Other licenses were given to developers such as ZQ Games, Yoozoo Games, and miHoYo.

The freeze began in April next year, amid new restrictions on young gamers which adversely affected the market, with small developers ceasing business and tech giants seeing a slowdown in revenue growth. This freeze saw the country’s gaming industry significantly slowing its growth, with gross sales revenue rising 6.4 per cent last year– down from 20.7 per cent in 2020.

In June, NetEase stock fell 9 per cent when Diablo Immortal – which had been given a license in February 2021 – was delayed indefinitely in the country.