The last time Tencent obtained a major license was in May 2021 – Copyright AFP/Jade GAO File
China has granted tech giant Tencent its first license for a video game in 18 months, ending a dry spell that had threatened its position as the world’s top game maker.
Beijing cracked down on the country’s vibrant gaming sector last year as part of a sprawling crackdown on big tech companies, which included a limit on the amount of time children can spend playing games.
Officials also froze approvals for new titles for nine months through April.
China’s gaming regulator, the National Administration of Press and Publications, said on Thursday it had approved 70 new titles in November, including Tencent’s action game “Metal Slug: Awakening” and an RPG “Journey to the West”. : Return” from rival NetEase.
Game licenses are required for video games to be published and sold in the Chinese market.
The last time Tencent obtained a major license was in May 2021.
A Tencent subsidiary received a license in September, but it was for a free educational game.
Shares of the Hong Kong-listed company rose 0.5 percent in early trading on Friday after the license announcement, while NetEase gained 5 percent.
The approval signals a relaxation of China’s strict attitude towards tech companies.
During the tech crackdown, hundreds of game makers vowed to remove “politically harmful” content from their products and place restrictions on underage players in an attempt to comply with government demands.
Strict restrictions announced last year allow players under the age of 18 to play three hours a week.