China lifts licencing freeze with 44 new approved international games

Chinese regulators granted 44 licences for international games to be distributed in the country, including to major corporation Tencent

China lifts licencing freeze with 44 new approved international games

According to reports late last-year by Reuters, China is set to make another big break in its gaming freeze with the approval of licences for 44 new international games. A number of which are set to be published by Chinese video game giant Tencent.

The licensing freeze came as part of a broader crackdown on game and tech companies by Chinese authorities over the past year. This wave of new licences also includes 84 domestic gaming titles being approved by regulators.

The approval marks a distinct change from China’s ongoing licensing freeze that has seen many licences granted only in the single digits over protracted periods. A fact that has seen many such as Tencent CEO Pony Ma, grapple with falling profits and the larger difficulties endured across the entire video game industry in China. It seems that many will be breathing a sigh of relief this new year as the games industry opens up, along with the rest of China.

Opening up to the World

China, up until recently, had been operating under a ‘zero-covid’ policy. With tight restrictions on movement, businesses and entertainment across the country. Criticised even within the country itself, many believed that it would have a large-scale, negative impact on the economy of one of the world’s largest countries. With the relaxation of these policies and the controversy that’s followed over the sharing of Covid data, it looks as if games, and mobile games, are finally getting some good news as Chinese regulators come to recognise the to the potential economic uncertainty they face and grant much needed new licences.

We covered the ‘rise and fall’ of China’s mobile market in our recently released BIG Stories of 2022. So if you need a refresher on all the ups and downs the country’s lucrative video game market has had recently, you can take a look here.

Staff Writer

Iwan is a Cardiff-based freelance writer, who joined the Pocket Gamer Biz site fresh-faced from University before moving to the editorial team in November of 2023.