(Reuters) – Chinese gaming firm NetEase Inc has downsized some of its studios and projects started in early September amid a regulatory crackdown by Beijing on the video gaming sector, the South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday, citing people with direct knowledge of the matter.
The report said that dozens of employees, which include programmers, designers and creative artists at the company’s Shanghai and Hangzhou offices, had been taken off their original jobs and told to look for new assignments inside and outside NetEase.
However, no employees have been officially removed from their jobs, the report added.
NetEase did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
China has reportedly slowed down approval for all new online games temporarily in a bid to curb a gaming addiction among young people.
The country has also forbidden under-18s from playing video games for more than three hours a week. The restriction, which applies to any devices including phones, is a body blow to a global gaming industry that caters to tens of millions of young players in the world’s most lucrative market.
(Reporting by Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)