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Media & Entertainment

China approves 70 online games, including Tencent's 'Metal Slug'

NetEase also gets license in November, its second since Beijing lifted freeze

An internet cafe in Beijing. China's video games regulator granted publishing licenses to 70 online games in November, months after lifting a freeze on approvals.   © Reuters

HONG KONG (Reuters) -- China's video games regulator on Thursday granted publishing licenses to 70 online games, including titles belonging to Tencent Holdings, NetEase and other developers.

Shenzhen-based Tencent, the world's largest gaming company, received its first commercial game license in a year and a half for an action game titled "Metal Slug: Awakening," the list published by the National Press and Public Administration showed.

Unlike in most other countries, video games need approvals from regulators before a release in China, which is also the world's largest gaming market. When Beijing cracked down on the gaming industry last August, it initiated a nine-month freeze on the license approval process.

NetEase, China's second largest gaming company behind Tencent, also received a license this month for a role-playing game titled "Journey to the West: Return," its second license since the freeze was lifted in April after securing one in September.

A Tencent subsidiary also received a license in September but it was for an educational game with no monetization.

No licenses were granted in October, when the 20th Communist Party Congress was underway in Beijing.

In a call with analysts on Thursday, Tencent President Martin Lau said he expected licenses for Tencent to come through quickly.

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