Call to end tax breaks for China’s gaming firms

Business Thursday 05/August/2021 15:54 PM
By: DW
Call to end tax breaks for China’s gaming firms

Beijing: A Chinese state-backed newspaper called for an end to tax breaks for gaming companies on Thursday. It argued that they have grown and some now operate on a global scale.

The comment from the Security Times newspaper comes days after another state-affiliated media source called the gaming industry "spiritual opium" and called for restrictions on access for players under 12.

The paper said that "the gaming industry has now grown strong" thanks to preferential tax benefits for the software industry.

"With these software industries having developed... the government no longer needs to continue providing industry support," it said.
Investors have received the recent signals from the state with concern. Chinese regulators have already taken on other tech giants such as the e-commerce behemoth Alibaba.

Recent rules barred companies from making a profit off education, forcing the vast after-school sector to go non-profit.

Shares in huge gaming companies such as Tencent and NetEase took another tumble on Thursday amid fears of further strict regulations. Some $60 billion were wiped off Tencent's share value following statements earlier in the week.

Tencent on Tuesday announced that it would limit the amount of time minors are allowed to play their games to just one hour a day.

"Admittedly, China's online gaming industry is part of the broader tech space, but this is the second government mouthpiece to take a shot at the sector this week, and you ignore the non-too subtle warning at your perils," said Jeffrey Halley, an analyst at trading firm Oanda said.