China’s video game creators come in from the cold as crackdown eases

China’s end to a sweeping crackdown on its video games market is expected to breathe life back into the battered industry this year, but remaining restrictions on some content and economic headwinds will limit the extent of the recovery.

Beijing’s tough curbs in 2021 laid waste to the once-booming industry, shaving over half of the market value of sector leaders like Tencent Holdings and NetEase and shrinking the world’s biggest gaming market for the first time.

Shares of Tencent and NetEase have risen in recent weeks after China’s video games regulator granted the first gaming licences in 2023, the latest sign that the clampdown is ending.

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