Life & Leisure

Chinese gaming company shares plummet after Beijing labels them ‘opium’

Shanghai, China, Aug 3 (EFE).- The shares of major Chinese gaming companies collapsed on Tuesday after state media once again described online gaming as “spiritual opium” and “electronic drugs.”

At the end of the morning trading session of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the shares of tech giant Tencent, the world’s largest vendor of video games including the hugely popular “Honor of Kings,” had shed 10.6 percent.

Tencent is among the most valuable companies on the Hong Kong stock market.

In 2020, almost half of its revenue of about $74 billion came from the segment it calls “value-added services,” which includes video games and social media, its main businesses.

Shares of other large gaming companies also plunged in the first trading session on Tuesday, including CMGE (-20.9 percent), XD Inc (-11.97 percent), NetEase (-11.76 percent) and Yoozoo Interactive (-2.46 percent).

The Economic Information Daily, operated by the state-run Xinhua news agency, published an article on Tuesday in which it asserted that “no industry, no sport, can be allowed to develop in a way that will destroy a generation.”

The article points out that, among minors who use the internet, 62.5 percent play online games.

It also said that, between 2019 and 2020, the percentage of those who do online gaming for more than two hours a day during workdays rose from 12.5 percent ??to 13.2 percent, linking it to poor academic performance and a proliferation of insomnia, myopia, depression and family conflicts.

Such articles published in state media are often a prelude to restrictive measures by the government. EFE


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