In latest gaming crackdown, China bans livestreaming of unauthorised titles

A man plays online game on a computer at an internet cafe in Beijing, China August 31, 2021. REUTERS/Florence Lo

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

BEIJING/HONG KONG, April 15 (Reuters) – China said on Friday the livestreaming of unauthorised video games was banned, signalling stricter enforcement of rules as part of its broad crackdown on the gaming industry aimed at purging content the government does not approve of.

The National Radio and Television Administration said platforms of all kinds must not livestream games that are not approved by related authorities.

In particular, the livestreaming of overseas games or competitions should not be carried out without approval, it said, adding that livestreamers should resist “abnormal aesthetics” and harmful celebrity fan culture.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

“For a period of time, issues such as chaotic online livestreaming and teenage addiction to games have raised widespread concerns in society and effective measures need to be taken urgently,” the regulator said in a notice on its website.

Daniel Ahmad, a senior analyst at research firm Niko Partners, said while unlicensed games could not officially be released in mainland China, many were promoted on livestreaming platforms such as Huya Inc (HUYA.N), DouYu International Holdings and Bilibili Inc (9626.HK)

“Earlier this year, Elden Ring was a hit on Chinese game live streaming platforms reaching 17.1 million cumulative daily average viewers, despite not having a license,” he said.

Last year, China introduced new rules that limit the amount of time under-18s can spend on video games to three hours a week, a move it said was necessary to combat gaming addiction.

It also implemented a freeze on gaming licences which regulators only lifted this week after gaming companies made major adjustments to their business practices. read more

Companies have been asked to delete content that is violent, deemed to celebrate wealth or foster the worship of celebrities.

On Thursday, China’s largest gaming firm Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK) said it would shut down a service allowing Chinese gamers to play unapproved foreign games on overseas platforms. read more

The impact of this latest ban on the shares of major Chinese gaming and livestreaming firms was not immediately clear. Hong Kong markets were closed on Friday for a holiday while Huya and DouYu are listed in the United States.

The ban “could impact game companies quite significantly if it is strictly implemented,” said Charles Yu, head of law firm Pillar Legal’s Shanghai office.

Tencent, DouYu, Huya and Bilibili did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Reporting by Sophie Yu in Beijing and Josh Ye in Hong Kong; Additional reporting by Josh Horwitz; Editing by Edwina Gibbs, Kirsten Donovan

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Next Post

Why We NEVER Use Nail Guns On Your Roof

Sat Apr 23 , 2022
There have been many advances in the roofing industry over the past three decades since Atlanta Roofing Specialists began, from snazzy roofing software to nicer trucks and equipment, tablets, mobile wifi, etc. So much improves so quickly, we are constantly upgrading things and staying on top of the advances that […]
Why We NEVER Use Nail Guns On Your Roof