Regulators in China have given the go-ahead to 45 new online games after a nine-month hiatus from granting approvals, reports the Financial Times. The move is the first sign that the government is easing its restrictions on the previously booming sector. China’s biggest tech companies, including gaming giant Tencent, have come under heavy regulatory scrutiny over the past two years as the Communist party sought to overhaul the private sector, a move which saw billions wiped off their collective market value.
Authorities paused approvals for new games in July last year over concerns the country’s children were addicted to online titles that undermined societal values.
A month later, Chinese children were banned from playing video games for more three hours a week, hitting providers such as NetEase and Tencent even further and slowing revenue growth. Also in August state media briefly lambasted gaming as a form of “spiritual opium”.