China tightens limits for young players, bans school nights

China’s strict limits on how long minors can play online video games have become stricter. Chinese children and teens are banned from o...


China’s strict limits on how long minors can play online video games have become stricter. Chinese children and teens are banned from online gambling on school days and limited to one hour a day on weekends and holiday evenings under government rules released on Monday.

The rules published by the National Press and Publications Administration Tightened restrictions from 2019 targeted what the government has called the growing scourge of online gambling addiction among schoolchildren. Under the old rules, players under the age of 18 were limited to no more than 90 minutes of play weekdays and three hours a day on weekends.

Parents had complained that it was too generous and had been applied lax, the administration said. The new rule sets the authorized playing time at 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The government has said it will step up inspections to ensure gaming companies enforce the restrictions.

“Recently, many parents have reported that gambling addiction in some young people and children is seriously interfering with their normal education, life, and mental and physical health,” the administration said in an online statement. Q&A explanation on the new rules. Parents, he said, had called for “further restrictions and reductions in the time given to minors by online gambling services”.

The new rules also reflect growing pressure from the government for companies to get rid of what the Chinese Communist Party sees as unhealthy influences, especially among teens and children.

“Some teens just don’t listen to their parents’ discipline, and this policy can control them,” said Lily Feng, an employee of a company in Shenzhen, south China. She said her 10-year-old daughter was less interested in online games than Douyin, the Chinese equivalent of TikTok, but added that the new limits set a good example. “I think this is the right policy; it is up to the state to look after our children for us.

Last week, the Chinese government launched a crackdown on teenage celebrity cult and fan clubs, warning that the pursuit of celebrities from online subscribers distorts the worth of young people. from China Cyberspace administration was banned on Friday ranking of celebrities by popularity.

Online gaming has been one of the fastest growing and most profitable sectors of the Chinese internet industry, generating billions in revenue from players who pay to participate in online quests, wars and adventures. But there are signs of growing official pressure to make companies more strictly adhere to the cultural compliance requirements of the Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Chinese Ministry of Education in April online game companies ordered to ensure that minors cannot play after 10 p.m. each school night. In early August, the stock prices of Tencent Holdings and other major Chinese video game companies fell sharply after a Chinese newspaper called their products “spiritual opium”. The article quoted Tencent, which owns “Honor of Kings”, a hugely popular game in China.

Chinese parents have complained that children are constantly finding new ways to exceed the limits of playing hours, said a report released in August by the government-funded Beijing Legal Aid and Research Center. Many parents, according to the report, “reported that their children had big changes in their temperament and personality after becoming addicted to games, even as if they had become a different person.”

Tencent, which has already cut the time minors can spend on “honoring kings,” said it will adhere to the new restrictions. In its latest financial information, the company said that in the second quarter of 2021, players under the age of 16 only accounted for 2.6% of its gross gaming revenue in China.

“Since 2017, Tencent has explored and applied various new technologies and functions for the protection of minors,” a spokesperson for Tencent said in a statement. “This will continue, as Tencent strictly adheres to and actively implements the latest requirements of the Chinese authorities.”

Raymond Zhong contributed reporting. Liu Yi contributed to the research.

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Newsrust - US Top News: China tightens limits for young players, bans school nights
China tightens limits for young players, bans school nights
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