Tencent and NetEase, two of China’s biggest gaming companies, saw their share prices plummet to a combined loss of US$60 billion (~RM248 billion) yesterday after they reportedly took meetings with Chinese industry regulators. At the end of yesterday, Tencent was down by 8.48%, while NetEase lost 11% of its value.
The loss in value is also reportedly contributed to the fact that Beijing’s regulators were increasing the time it would usually body to approve a game, but not suspending the process entirely. As for the “why” to its actions, the state regulators made it clear that its actions were to remove any “obscene and violent” content that would otherwise breed unhealthy tendencies, including “money-worship and effeminacy”.
Of course, it comes as no surprise that China’s crackdown on the video game industry comes more than a week after it imposed further restrictions on its youth’s access to the medium, whittling it down to just three hours per week.
It also shouldn’t surprise anyone that this isn’t the first time Tencent and NetEase have found themselves in Beijing’s crosshairs; the companies’ first run-in with Beijing happened in 2018, when the latter expressed concern of myopia becoming a “very severe” issue among Chinese youth, which was essentially just a runabout way of the administration to tighten its grip on gaming.