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Tencent to block Chinese gamers’ access to foreign, unapproved games

Tencent to block Chinese gamers' access to foreign, unapproved games

Tencent Holdings Ltd announced that it will shut down a service that allowed Chinese gamers to access international platforms to play banned foreign games, signaling a tightening of compliance as Chinese regulators investigate the industry more carefully.

The country’s leading social and gaming company announced late Wednesday that its games speed booster mobile and desktop apps will be updated on May 31 to support only Chinese games. Users will not be able to play foreign games in the latest versions.

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In 2018, Tencent released the apps. Other companies, such as NetEase Inc, offer similar software that operates as network acceleration tools, allowing users to increase their internet speeds.

Unlike in most other countries, gamers in China are only permitted to play titles that have been sanctioned by the government, and they are not permitted to play with foreigners on foreign servers. Local internet rates are typically too slow for gamers to access such international games, even if they are not officially restricted by online bans.

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As a result, many Chinese gamers have used similar programs to play banned international games like Grand Theft Auto and Nintendo’s mega-hit Animal Crossing. Foreign game creators have used the applications to target gamers in the world’s largest gaming market.

Tencent will not elaborate on why it changed the app.

Chinese gamers were disappointed by the change, although many claimed it was not unexpected.

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“Given the current circumstances, this is to be expected. In China, it is becoming increasingly difficult to be a gamer “On the microblogging site Weibo, a Chinese internet user wrote:

The announcement comes just days after China removed a nine-month moratorium on gambling license applications. Tencent and other gaming businesses made significant changes to their business methods to comply with regulatory requests during this time.

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