China stops approving new video games

And it's unclear when regulators will resume licensing.

Marrian Zhou Staff Reporter
Marrian Zhou is a Beijing-born Californian living in New York City. She joined CNET as a staff reporter upon graduation from Columbia Journalism School. When Marrian is not reporting, she is probably binge watching, playing saxophone or eating hot pot.
Marrian Zhou
2 min read
Tencent To Limit Daily Playtime Of Online Game

The huge game industry in China is suffering due to regulators halting the processing game approvals amid a power shakeup.  (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

VCG via Getty Images

Regulators have hit the pause button on China's burgeoning gaming industry. 

China has halted the approval of new game licenses due to a "restructuring of power" in government agencies, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

In China, game companies need to gain approvals from both the National Radio & Television Administration and the Ministry of Culture & Tourism in order to launch new games and make money in the game, Bloomberg reported. Because both agencies are reportedly going through personnel changes and shifting of responsibilities, the Chinese government has frozen the license approval process until further notice.

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Tencent, one of the biggest game developers in China, has reportedly lost more than $160 billion in market value since January, and smaller companies are struggling to survive.

The game giant's profit also reportedly fell for the first time in at least a decade, partially due to its inability to profit from its most popular games, such as PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds .

Although the mobile game is very popular, without licensing approvals, it can't create potentially lucrative new versions, according to ifanr. The game has more than 169.7 million installations as of August, Bloomberg said.

It's unclear when the government agencies will resume duty. The National Radio & Television Administration's website hasn't updated information regarding game approvals since March.

China's National Radio & Television Administration and the Ministry of Culture & Tourism couldn't be reached. Tencent didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

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