Chinese regulator restricts kids' online gaming to three hours a week

August 30, 2021 9:16 pm

Chinese regulators have cut down the online game hours for player below 18 to an hour of gameplay on Friday, weekends and holidays.

Details: The National Press and Publication Administration on Monday issued new guidance, requiring gaming companies to take further measures to prevent minors from addicting to online games.

Users under the age of 18 would only be able to play games from 20:00 to 21:00 every day on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and holidays. That’s a change from the previous limit of 1.5 hours of online gameplay on most days.

Gaming companies are not allowed to provide minors with online game services in any form outside those hours, and must have a real name verification system in place to ensure the new rules are enforced.

Regulators say they’ll also work with parents and schools to help combat gaming addiction amongst Chinese youth.

Following the news, Tencent has issued a statement. “Tencent expressed its strong support and will make every effort to implement the relevant requirements of the Notice as soon as possible,” the company says.

Context: The new rules come a month after an article published by state media described online games as “spiritual opium.” Although the phrase has been removed shortly, the rectification aimed at the game industry still landed today.

Chinese gaming platforms like Tencent and NetEase must limit online gaming to minors to just three hours per week following new rules imposed by regulators on Monday, according to Bloomberg citing state media reports.