INTERNATIONAL – Tencent’s shares surged on Friday after a local regulatory official said some new video games had been cleared for sale, ending a lengthy freeze in approvals that has spooked players in the world’s largest gaming market.
Feng Shixin, a senior official of the ruling Communist Party’s Propaganda department, said in a speech at a gaming conference in the southern city of Haikou that a first batch of approvals for games had been completed, according to a transcript of the speech and the organizers of the event.
That helped propel Tencent’s shares up by as much as 4.6 percent, putting the gaming-to-social media giant on course for its steepest daily share price jump in over a month.
China stopped approving new titles from March amid a regulatory overhaul triggered by growing criticism of video games for being violent and leading to myopia as well as addiction among young users.
The freeze on new approvals has pressured gaming-related stocks and clouded the outlook for mobile games, rattling industry leader Tencent and peers like NetEase.