Published: September 1, 2021
Beijing has always been concerned about China’s youth being addicted to gaming. It went as far as banning gaming consoles for 14 years until 2014. In 2019, a new rule allowed people under 18 to play games for 1 ½ hours a day.
This Monday, China’s National Press and Publication Administration published new rules banning kids and teens under 18 from playing online video games for more than three hours a week.
More specifically, young people under 18 will be allowed to play for only an hour a day, between 8 P.M. and 9 P.M. on weekends and legal holidays.
This new rule applies to companies that provide gaming services to kids, mandating them to lessen their services to these users outside the designated hours and days. It also prohibits them from providing services to people who haven’t logged in with their real-name registration.
The agency issued this new rule as a response to minors’ potentially overusing video games. However, it may impact the country’s gaming giants, such as Tencent and NetEase. The two have already been through a series of regulations this year.
Tencent was quick to respond, saying that it will implement the new rule. What’s more, it doesn’t expect a massive decline since only a small amount of gaming revenue comes from this age group. On the other hand, US-listed shares of NetEase did see a drop of 4% earlier this week.