Blocking Korean Games: China’s Economic Retaliation against S. Korea Hinders Hallyu in Game Industry | BusinessKorea

Monday, January 22, 2018

Smilegate’s “CrossFire: Chamgjeon Wangja” was the last game that acquired a service license from China in February this year.
Smilegate’s “CrossFire: Chamgjeon Wangja” was the last game that acquired a service license from China in February this year.
Seoul, Korea
26 December 2017 - 11:15am
Choi Mun-hee

South Korean games have not been able to enter the Chinese market for 10 months now. As President Moon Jae-in recently visited China, China was expected to resume the issuance of new service licenses to Korea-made games. However, it seems to have gone up in smoke.

According to gaming industry sources on December 25, the number of domestic games that acquired a license to enter the Chinese market this year is expected to be 21 percent of that of last year. China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television has required South Korean game developers to obtain a license to launch online games only in the country until last year but mobile games too from this year.

The Chinese government has stopped issuing new service licenses to Korea-made games from March as part of its economic retaliation against South Korea over the deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system. Smilegate’s “CrossFire: Chamgjeon Wangja” was the last game that acquired a service license from China in February.

However, the gaming industry paid attention to whether China will resume the issuance of new service licenses to South Korean games to the last minute as the relations between South Korea and China had slightly warmed from last month. In particular, there were expectations that China will start issuing service licenses again because Wemade CEO Chang Hyun-guk and Pearl Abyss Chairman Kim Dae-il became the first in the gaming industry to join the list of the economic mission accompanied Moon Jae-in on the trip to China from the 13th to 14th this month. However, nothing is done yet.

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