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China should remove tax breaks for video gaming industry, says Securities Times

·1 min read

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China should stop giving tax breaks to online video gaming firms because the industry has grown and some of its companies have now become globally influential players, the state-backed Securities Times newspaper said on Thursday.

The report comes as the Chinese video gaming industry has in recent days become a topic of multiple state media reports, triggering investor concerns that the industry could be next in line to be targeted by Beijing regulators.

On Tuesday, the state-backed Economic Information Daily called online video games "spiritual opium" in an article that went viral and wiped $60 billion off the share price of gaming giant Tencent Holdings Ltd at one point. The phrase was later edited out of the piece.

The Securities Times did not cite any companies by name in its report on Thursday.

"The government should no longer need to give industry support when these software industries have developed and obtained comparative advantages," it said.

"The tax treatment should be the same as other industries. The gaming industry should be psychologically prepared in this regard."

(Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

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