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Media & Entertainment

Tencent placates Beijing with 'public interest' games for China

Other Chinese developers also try to ease concerns over young players' addiction

Tencent is collecting donations for erecting lights on mountain paths through a WeChat game of walking to and from school in the dark in a mountainous area. (Photo by Yusuke Hinata)

GUANGZHOU -- Electronic games that aim to serve the public interest are increasing in China against a backdrop of strains between developers and the government over gaming addiction among young people.

One is a free smartphone game released in November by internet giant Tencent Holdings to improve the player's ability to speak standard Chinese. The player starts by saying: "Hello. How are you?" into the microphone and receives a score based on how well he or she matches the tones and pronunciation of standard Chinese. The player then develops a town while answering questions that develop pronunciation and listening skills.

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