As per a circular, restrictions to be enforced from September 1
China’s National Press and Publication Administration has released a circular imposing limits on online video games for kids and teens under 18 years of age in the country. As per the new rules, video game companies will have to restrict gaming time to three hours a week, starting from September 1.
According to the circular, online gaming has had an impact on both the physical and mental health of kids.
In order to implement those time limits, game companies need to adopt a real-name-based registration system. In 2018, Tencent started using this system to limit play time on Honor of Kings, a widely popular mobile game.
Back then, limits weren’t as strict, though, as children up to aged 12 years could play one hour per day, and up to two hours per day for children between 13 and 18 years. At that time, authorities were concerned about worsening myopia among minors.
To sign up for a gaming account, users must go through an ID verification system, which means that you can only have one account associated with your real name. Regulators will regularly check whether gaming companies comply with local regulation.
It’s going to be interesting to see how the new regulations affect the video gaming sector as a whole. Online gaming is mentioned specifically, which could mean that solo games won’t be restricted going forward. However, it’s unclear whether console games and foreign games will have to implement the new real-name-based registration system.
Following the news, Tencent 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.
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