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Three hours a week: Play time’s over for China’s young video gamers

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Shanghai, Aug 30 – China has banned 18-year-olds from playing video games for more than three hours a week. Formerly described as the “spiritual opium”.

The new rules, issued on Monday, are part of Beijing’s significant move to tighten its control over society after key sectors of the economy, including technology, education and property, were excluded from population development. .

The restrictions, which apply to any device, including phones, are a blow to the global gaming industry body, which is serving millions of young players in the world’s most lucrative market.

According to state news agency Xinhua, their 18-year-olds are not limited to one hour a day – from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. They can play for an hour at a time on public holidays.

The regulatory policies of the National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA) are in line with the wider Beijing crisis against Chinese technology companies Alibaba Group (9988.HK) and Tencent Holdings (0700.HK).

The campaign to avoid what some companies describe as “wild growth” by state media is overshadowed by billions of dollars in shares traded domestically and abroad. read more

“Youth is the future of our country,” Xinhua news agency quoted an unnamed NPPA spokesperson as saying. “Protecting the physical and mental health of children is related to the core interests of the people and the cultivation of the younger generation during national rejuvenation.”

The regulator, which oversees the video game market in the country, said gaming companies will be barred from providing services to minors in any form outside the specified period and they will have to ensure that they put in place a real name verification system.

Earlier, China had limited time to 1.5 hours for under-18s and three hours on holidays under the 2019 rules.

The new rules became one of the most discussed topics in Weibo, with China reacting on Twitter. Some users expressed support for these measures, while others said they were surprised by how strict the policies were.

“It was so intense because I was a mom,” said one commenter, who garnered over 700 likes.

Others questioned whether the restrictions could be enforced. “They use the parent’s login. How can they control that?” Question of one

Gaming shares seized

According to analyst Newsweek, the Chinese sportswear market is expected to generate revenue of $45.6 billion over the United States by 2021.

Repression prevails all over the world.

Projects (PRX.AS), a listed technology investment firm, own 29% of the Chinese social media conglomerate and Tencent Video Games, while European online video gaming companies Ubisoft (UBIP.PA) and Empress Group (EMBRACb.ST) each. Have 2 passes. %. Fell more than

Shares of Chinese gaming fell pre-market in the United States, with NetEase down more than 6% and mobile game publisher Philippines down 3%.

State media reported that approximately 62.5% of Chinese minors frequently play online games, and 13.2% of minors who use mobile games play mobile games for more than two hours a day.

Gaming companies have been sidelined in recent weeks as state media criticizes gaming addiction among young people and marks a disciplinary effort.

A state-run media company this month described online games as the “spiritual opium” and cited Tencent’s “Honor of Kings” article, which called for more regulation in the industry, the world’s biggest gaming giant by earnings. Reduced shares in the company.

Later, Tencent announced new measures to reduce the time and money kids spend on games, starting with the King’s Honor. Its president said it would work with regulators to cover the total time spent by minorities on gaming and explore ways to cover all industry topics.

The NPPA regulator told Xinhua that this would allow online gaming companies to increase the frequency and intensity of tests to ensure deadlines and anti-drug systems.

It also said that parents and teachers will play an important role in controlling game addiction.

Brenda Cowen’s statement; Written by Sir Praveen; Edited by Carmel Grimins
Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Foundation Policies.

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