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China gives approval to Korean gaming service in four years

China gives approval to Korean gaming service in four years

Posted December. 04, 2020 07:43,   

Updated December. 04, 2020 07:43


The Chinese government granted a business license to a South Korean gaming program for the first time in four years. Some expect that it signals the lessening of China’s regulations on South Korean gaming software while others dismiss it as a one-time exception.

South Korean gaming developer Com2uS officially announced on Thursday that its mobile game Summoners War: Sky Arena received a license from China’s State Administration of Press and Publications the day before. Since its global launch in June 2014, Summoners War: Sky Arena has become Com2uS’s flagship product, contributing to more than 80 percent of the developer’s overseas sales.

Later 2016, Com2uS applied for a business license with the aim of helping Summoners War: Sky Arena penetrate the Chinese market. However, the dispute between Seoul and Beijing over the deployment of Terminal High Altitude Area Defenseless (THAAD) only worsened their diplomatic relationship in 2017 while the Chinese government unofficially put restrictions on the distribution of South Korean pop cultural content including gaming services. Early 2017 was the last time when it issues a business license to a South Korean game. “It was a long time ago that we applied for a license so we did not expect it to happen. We were not notified of the news before,” according to an executive at Com2uS.

China’s surprise issuance of the business license is increasing expectations across the South Korean gaming industry that one of the world’s largest gaming markets may reopen its door for South Korean gaming businesses. Optimists anticipate that Beijing will soon allow Nexon’s flagship title Dungeon & Fighter, which is soon to attempt to make inroads into China, and other games based on intellectual property well-received by Chinese users to have access to its domestic market. Such heightened market expectations translated into rising stock prices of South Korean gaming developers on Thursday.

Meanwhile, others concern that it is too early to conclude that the Chinese market is now accessible, saying that extra license issuances should follow in order for South Korean gaming developers to be assured of China completely removing restrictions on them.

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