Just a few months ago online games in China were being trashed in the media, and by government spokespeople, for bringing bad influences to the youth of China. But in China it is always difficult to postulate in which direction the arm of the law will fall, and so it is little surprise that Chinese game-maker Shanda (SNDA), along with 41 other enterprises, has now been named as one of the excellent model companies of the cultural industry in China by the Ministry of Culture.

Shanda received this honor due to its "outstanding contribution towards exploring and advancing the national network culture through online games." The award also demonstrates the supportive attitude that the Ministry of Culture has towards the growth and prosperity of the online game industry.

The recipients of this award are typically enterprises and organizations within the traditional cultural industries of China, such as film, television, radio, publishing and sound recordings. Shanda is the first online network company to receive this award. The Ministry of Culture bestows this award upon those enterprises that demonstrate and promote the development of the cultural industry in China.

"This award is a tremendous honor for Shanda," said Tianqiao Chen, CEO of Shanda. "Typically given to companies in the traditional cultural industries, Shanda is the first online network company to be recognized by the Ministry of Culture as a model cultural enterprise. In addition, the award demonstrates the Chinese government's continued support in the growth and development of the online game industry, and reaffirms Shanda's leading position in this rapidly growing segment."

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