Tencent has not been weathering the Chinese game block very well. Sure, the company has been doing its best, but a 28% stock drop is a pretty huge impact, and the new draconian anti-addiction measures put into place by Tencent are an effort to avoid further regulation by the government. Now it’s taking things to the next step by pulling back its marketing expenses, trying to basically issue damage control for the games still waiting on approval as the government restructures. Executives are asked to return any funds for marketing games that have not yet been approved and hunker down with the rest of the company until the approvals come back online.
The game freeze in China is a result of ministries being shut down and reformed, preventing any formal approval process from remaining in place for new titles entering the nation. Analysts are split about exactly when this freeze will end, but it’s already had a massive impact on the Chinese game industry, which in turn has ripple effects throughout the entirety of the gaming industry. Which means it’s a pretty big deal when a huge gaming company asks its marketing executives to weather the storm together.