Asia Game Stocks Jump After Report China Set to Resume Approvals

By BLOOMBERG

Asian game developers jumped on Tuesday following a media report that China’s regulators are set to resume approving new games after a three-month halt. 

The 21st Century Business Herald reported that Beijing may restart online game approvals, without elaborating further. The report led Tencent Holdings Ltd. as much as 3.5% higher, with NetEase Inc. adding 6.8%. The Hang Seng Tech Index, which tracks the biggest technology firms in China, gained 1.9% and was set for the highest close in three weeks. 

In Tokyo Nexon Co., which gets 28% of its revenue from China, surged 6.3%, while Koei Tecmo Holdings Co., which has worked with Tencent on mobile games, added 3.9%, the most in two months. South Korea’s NCSoft Corp. extended gains to as much as 7.9%, while NHN Corp. rose as much as 9.3% to its highest since March 2014.

“If game approvals resume, it will be a real boost to developers’ revenue,” said Jackson Wong, an asset management director at Amber Hill Capital Ltd. “Investors’ sentiment over the technology sector further improves due to this news. It shows that the peak of the overall regulation crackdown is behind us.” 

China was said to slow game approvals to enforce stricter rules earlier this year, asking developers to re-submit titles with new protections for kids. The moves were part of Beijing’s regulatory campaign against technology companies, aiming to curb gaming addiction and limit the amount of time its youth can spend on the games.