Tencent closes Chinese players’ access to overseas games | Pocket Gamer.biz
Chinese megacorporation Tencent is shutting down one of its services that allows gamers based in China to access foreign platforms to play games online.
The service in question is an application that allows users to improve their internet speed to access games from abroad, as local internet speeds often do not provide a stable enough connection to play.
Tencent first launched the app in 2018, and other Chinese companies, such as NetEase, offer similar network acceleration services. The Services also allow users to play games with foreign players on foreign servers.
As Reuters reported, on May 31, 2022, Tencent will provide an update to its mobile and desktop app, which means the app can only support games licensed to run in China. After the update, users will no longer be able to access international games through the app.
Although international games are not directly banned by the government through the use of internet restrictions, video games in China must go through state approval to be commercially available.
Although Tencent has not commented on the changes, the move follows ongoing regulatory changes by the Chinese government regarding the access and availability of video games across the country.
Earlier this week, Chinese regulators ended a nearly nine-month game approval freeze and approved 45 titles. Many have claimed that the game licensing freeze contributed to the closure of 14,000 studios last year.
Due to the company’s size, Tencent has remained under close scrutiny, and often criticism, by the Chinese government and state-run media. However, the company has said in the past that it will be “fully compliant” with all regulations in the country.
Last year, Chinese regulators suspended Tencent from launching or updating apps from Nov. 25 as part of a “temporary administrative directive,” before restoring those capabilities on Dec. 24.