China Cracks Down on Unapproved Online Games

BEIJING—The government agency tasked with regulating and distributing news, print and internet publications in China has halted software sales of 45 unapproved overseas cyber games and 26 domestic online games that it claims contain pornography, violence and gambling.

The General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) announced Monday that the imported games had not obtained the agency's approval and the domestic games had added illegal content or gambling functionality after having been inspected by the agency and approved for release.

In accordance with Chinese state regulations, no entity or individual may engage in publishing, printing, copying or distributing books, newspapers, periodicals or audio/visual publications without authorization from the GAPP.

According to China Today, the overseas games include Omerta, a text-based multiplayer role-paying online game thematically based on Mafia stories of the 1930s.

GAPP also ordered 27 internet companies to stop providing online platforms for illegal games, and urged online game designers to install anti-addiction systems in their products.

The GAPP announced that is will also work to improve supervision over licensed operators of cyber games and eliminate all unapproved games.