Chinese regulators have imposed limits on online video games for minors. Chinese children will, therefore, only be able to play three hours a week between 20:00 and 21:00 on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays. Video game companies such as NetEase and Tencent are required to limit the game during these hours and verify the user’s real name.
As of September 1, video game companies like NetEase and Tencent are required to limit online gaming to just three hours per week for minors, under new rules imposed by Chinese regulators.
As Bloomberg first reported, children under 18 will only play for one hour between 8 pm and 9 pm on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays. Also, according to Reuters, gaming companies must restrict online gaming during these hours and apply a real-name verification system.
This is not the first time that limits have been imposed on video games in China. In 2018, Tencent rolled out a similar system, in which it imposed age controls and limited the time spent on its Honor of Kings mobile game to one hour per day for children 12 and under. While children between the ages of 13 and 18 were restricted to play for up to two hours a day.
The new regulations mainly serve to combat gambling addiction in China. A Chinese state publication ran an article describing online gambling as “spiritual opium” before removing the phrase about a month ago. However, the National Press and Publication Administration noted that online gambling affects children’s mental and physical health in its announcement post.
These rules are limited to online play only and do not directly mention whether these regulations will restrict non-online games. The new regulations also do not clarify whether console games and foreign titles will be required to comply with local regulations.