China: Video game company NetEase sees its shares plummet amid tech crackdown | News | DW
Shares of Chinese game company NetEase plunged on Monday after the company announced it would delay the release of popular game “Diablo Immortal” in China.
What do we know so far?
Following the news of delay, NetEase shares fell more than 10%, to their lowest level since September.
The company is grappling with increased restrictions on game companies in China, which, for example, forced NetEase to reduce its wide range of studios in 2021.
The decline signals a dramatic change in the company’s stock performance since the start of the year.
In April, Beijing announced that it would approve the release of new gaming licenses, with NetEase recording an 8% increase in its US listed market value at the time.
What did NetEase say about the game lag?
In a statement on Sunday, NetEase – which was founded in China in 1997 by developer Ding Lei – wrote that it had postponed the launch for further. optimize the gaming experience for users.
“We believe that the gaming experience in the officially released version will be smoother and we will bring better game content to everyone,” the company said.
Although the game has already been released in the US and UK, it has so far not been made available in the company’s home market.
The the postponed release date will mark the game’s debut in mainland China, although no official date has been given.
Regulators in China limit time spent online gambling during weekdays and weekends for young people
Why does China regulate the gambling industry?
The uncertainty surrounding the release date of “Diablo Immortal” in mainland China may be linked to the country’s years-long crackdown on its gaming industry.
The gambling market in China is highly regulated. All game companies must receive official licenses to release games in the country.
The government has enlisted the industry in its effort to curb gambling addiction among the country’s youth, and regulators have halted new approvals for gambling licenses, along with restrictions on hours spent playing for underage people. 18 years old in 2018.
A popular state-backed newspaper recently called the growing appetite for gambling “spiritual opiate”.
According to a study conducted by researchers in the Chinese city of Changsha, 57.8% of all internet users in China engage in online gaming.
The study also revealed a higher prevalence of Internet gaming disorder (IGD) among young people in Asia.
Asia is the epicenter of the gaming industry. Around 76% of the world’s largest video game publishing companies come from China, Japan and South Korea.
South Korea has also continued its own drive to rule its tech industry, with game developers a key target. In 2011, the country enacted a law requiring gaming platforms to close access to under 16s between 00:00 and 06:00.
The South Korean government eventually withdrew the law in 2021, amid tightening COVID-19 restrictions. This followed a new wave of gambling regulations for players in China in the same month.
asw/wd (AFP, Reuters)