Not only that, but they can only play on weekends and holidays.
According to a notice from China’s National Press and Publication Administration, the government has slashed the allowed gaming time of those under the age of 18 to just one hour from 8 PM to 9 PM on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays. Chinese regulators have also required video game companies like Tencent and NetEase to restrict access within these hours and to enforce a real-name verification system to monitor minors’ activity within their servers.
The new regulation tightens the grip for young gamers even further. It was back in 2018 when Tencent likewise imposed a similar limitation after it enforced age checks and kept the time spent by children up to the age of 12 on its mobile game Honor Kings to just one hour per day.
Then in 2019, a previous government restriction declared that minors can only play video games for an hour and a half a day and three hours on public holidays.
The novel limitations serve as both the continuation of China’s broad crackdown on tech giants – which it believed as having a sizeable influence on society – as well as an effort to curb game addiction.
Earlier this month, Economic Information Daily, a Chinese state-run news outlet, criticized Tencent for its negative impact on children and called its video games a “spiritual opium” in a now-deleted article. Despite the deletion, the National Press and Publication Administration’s announcement still echoed the same sentiment that games cause adverse effects on the youth’s mental and physical well-being.
Do you agree with the restrictions and the reason behind them?