Game developer to sue media watchdog over approval rule

By Liu Xin Source:Global Times Published: 2016/7/8 1:18:01

A mobile game developer from Shanghai has raised 50,000 yuan ($7,482) via crowd-funding to sue China's top media watchdog over its new regulation requiring game development studios to get approval before launching games online.

Chen Yu, a mobile developer from Shanghai-based Internet company GiantAxe, wrote a post on popular Chinese question-and-answer website on June 30, saying that he would sue the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) over its new regulations if he could raise money within two to three days.

Chen told the Global Times on Thursday that he collected 50,000 yuan from netizens within 11 hours and said that he and lawyers are now working on the case before filing it in court.

According to a regulation released by SAPPRFT on June 2, game studios have to apply for a publication number for their smartphone games before putting them online. The regulation also said that mobile games released before July 1 of this year must acquire a publication number by October 1 or face deletion by authorities.

Chen said SAPPRFT's new regulation is too rigid, and he called on authorities to devise a more transparent, efficient and reasonable supervision system to boost the gaming industry.

Under the new regulation, it will take around 80 days to censor mobile games that may involve political, military or religious topics or subject matter relating to ethnic relations.

"The verification process is too long. It may lead some studios to lose the best opportunity to release their games," Hao Peiqiang, a Shanghai-based mobile app developer, told the Global Times. "Moreover, if they fail to get a publication number, they have no channel to communicate with SAPPRFT."

"The new regulation aims to protect intellectual property rights and restrict games that have violent or pornographic content from entering the market, but it will strike a blow to the mobile games industry," Hao explained.

The regulation also allegedly demands that all games use simplified Chinese, and some game developers have claimed that their applications for publication numbers failed due to their games' use of English words, according to a Thursday report released on

Chen's lawyer, Li Fangping of the Beijing-based Ruifeng Law Firm, said that the controversial regulation goes against the guideline released by the State Council in December 2015, which allows companies to get their businesses up and running without first obtaining administrative permits.

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