Tencent Holdings won approval for a new game for the first time since Chinese regulators froze all licensing in 2021, as Beijing gradually lifts curbs in the world’s largest mobile entertainment market, reports Bloomberg. A health-education game created by the company was among 73 domestic titles approved Tuesday by the National Press and Publication Administration, the fifth batch of licenses granted this year. The WeChat operator missed out on previous rounds that started in April, when regulators resumed publishing regular lists of approved titles following the suspension.
Smaller rival NetEase also made the September list. Its shares rose in US premarket trading.
While Tencent’s name doesn’t show up on the list, its educational game Defense of Health was approved with a company called Nanjing Wangdian Technology as its operator. Wangdian is controlled by Tencent executives including co-founder Pony Ma, according to company registry tracker Qichacha.com. Tencent had unveiled Defense of Health during a 2021 event, along with other educational games that typically don’t serve as money makers.