By Lucy Adautin
TikTok owner, ByteDance, is negotiating with buyers like Chinese tech giant Tencent to sell its gaming arm, as it seeks to shed its once-promising assets in the highly competitive sector, a company spokesperson said Tuesday.
It aims to see the firm trade Nuverse, a video game publisher that is a subsidiary of Beijing-based ByteDance, as Nuverse was seen once by the firm as an essential with the aim to catch up with Tencent, a leader in the global gaming industry and one of China’s largest media conglomerates.
Spokesperson told AFP on condition of anonymity that the attempt to reach a deal is still ongoing.
The progress comes after ByteDance made sweeping reductions to its gaming division last November, including a round of layoffs, cutting hundreds of jobs as competitive sector showed a retreat worth $42.2 billion last year, according to official figures – after Nuverse failed to achieve the commercial success ByteDance aimed for when launched in 2019.
China is the world’s largest gaming market, and Tencent is the general leader in generating revenue while it faces more difficulty as tighter restrictions on gaming, especially for young people are imposed by authority.
Tencent said that in the next month’s Spring Festival Holiday, users under the age of 18 will face similar limitations, implemented through a real-name verification system, linked to national ID cards.
“Adults and children alike can play games with self-discipline,” Tencent said.
Last month, Beijing said it aims to revise newly drafted online gaming rules targeted at limiting in-game purchases and preventing gaming behaviour which might be obsessive, after the regulations caused a sell-off in major tech stocks.