China Imposes Baffling Restrictions on Gaming for Children

Published 08/30/2021, 12:25 PM EDT


China’s leading market to take a hit after the implementation of new rules. In a recent notice issued by China, authorities impose strong limitations on online gaming for minors.

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Earlier today, the National Press and Publication Administration of China released a notice forbidding minors to play online games for more than three hours a week. This will be a major blow to the mobile gaming market, which previously saw its stock fall when a well-renowned publication house expressed its frustration regarding the same.

What does it mean for players?

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Starting September 01, 2021, all video game companies will have to adhere to every rule stated in the notice. This will see gaming time for minors reduce from 1.5 hours per day for most days to just an hour on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 8pm – 9pm.

In addition to this, users will have to follow the real-name registration system to access the games. Companies are also restricted from allowing access to their content without proper authentication.

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These new rules add to the policies of Beijing meant to curb the “addiction” of online gaming in underage kids. Authorities believe it is the root cause of social problems as well as physical problems like myopia. Recently, the Economic Information Daily labeled the industry as “spiritual opium” and went as far as referring it to “Electronic drugs”. This lead to companies such as Tencent and NetEase lose millions within a short period of time.

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The tech giant’s response to the new gaming rules

Although the age category affects less than 3% of the industry’s total revenue, companies weren’t big fans of the decision.

Steven Leung, an executive director at UOB Kay Hian (Hong Kong) Ltd. responding to the notice, said, “I thought regulatory measures would take a break gradually but it’s not stopping at all. It will hurt the nascent tech rebound for sure.”

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On the other hand, Tencent, agreeing to all the policies, said, “Tencent expressed its strong support and will make every effort to implement the relevant requirements of the Notice as soon as possible.”

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Tanay Grover

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