Beginning September 1, video game companies like NetEase and Tencent are required to limit online gaming to just three hours per week for minors, according to new rules imposed by Chinese regulators.
As reported first by Bloomberg , children under the age of 18 will only be allowed to game for one hour between 8pm and 9pm on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, as well as public holidays.Additionally, game companies are required to restrict online gaming during these hours and must enforce a real-name verification system in place, according to Reuters .
This is not the first time video game limits were imposed in China.In 2018, Tencent implemented a similar system, where it enforced age checks and limited time spent on its mobile game Honor of Kings to one hour per day for children up to the age of 12.While children between the ages of 13 and 18 were restricted to playing for a maximum of two hours a day.
The new regulations serve as a broad crackdown on China’s tech giants in addition to combatting game addiction in China.Roughly a month ago, a Chinese state-run publication published an article describing online gaming as “spiritual opium” before removing the phrase.Though, the National Press and Publication Administration noted that online gaming influences minors’ mental and physical health in its announcement post.
These rules are only limited to online gaming and do not directly mention if non-online games will be restricted in this capacity.The new regulations also do not clarify whether or not console games and foreign titles will be required to comply with local regulations..