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China watchdog flags video game approvals; Tencent shares jump

FILE PHOTO: A Tencent sign is seen during the fourth Internet World Conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, China, Dec. 4, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song

SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) – Tencent Holdings Ltd shares jumped as much as 4.2 percent on Friday after a regulatory official said that some new games are released for sale after a long-term freeze in the art.

Feng Shixin, a senior official of the ruling Communist y of the Propaganda department, said in a speech at a gaming conference in Haikou on Friday that an initial batch of approvals for the games was completed, according to a transcript of the speech, and the organizers of the event.

China, the world’s largest gaming market, stopped with the adoption of new titles of March, in the midst of a statutory review triggered by the growing criticism of video games for violent and leads to myopia as well as addiction among young users.

The freezing of new approvals has been under pressure gaming-related shares, and clouded the outlook for mobile games, the rattling of the industry leader Tencent and smaller colleagues.

“We hope that through the new design of the system and strong execution, we could allow game companies to better present the common values, strengthening of the cultural significance of the task and mission, and to better meet the public need for a better life,” Feng said.

Earlier this month, state media reported that the Chinese regulators to set up an online video games ethics commission, raising hopes the government was preparing to resume an approval process that has been frozen for most of this year.

“This is clearly exciting news for China’s gaming industry,” a Tencent spokesperson said in a written explanation.

“We are confident that after the publication of license-consent, we will ensure more compliant, high-quality cultural works for the society and the public.”

The gaming freeze in China has dragged down Tencent shares this year and wiped billions of dollars from the market value. The Hong Kong-listed firm’s stock is around 23 percent this year.

Reporting by Adam Jourdan and Brenda Goh in SHANGHAI and Pei Li in BEIJING; Editing by Himani sarkar Cushing and Christopher

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