According to new rules imposed by Chinese regulators, video game companies like NetEase and Tencent are required to limit online gaming for kids to just three hours per week starting September 1.
First reported by Bloomberg, gamers under 18 will only be allowed to play video games for one hour on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, as well as public holidays between the hours of 8:00pm to 9:00pm. Game developers are required to restrict online gaming session except for these hours and they have to ensure that they have put real-name verification systems in place.
It’s not the first time we saw China has placed restrictions on video games. Last year, Tencent instituted a similar scheme, requiring children under the age of 12 to spend no more than one hour a day on it’s smartphone game Honor of Kings. There was a two-hour limit for children between the ages of 13 and 18.
New regulations aim to crack down the Chinese tech giants like Tencent & Alibaba, while also reducing the problem of game addiction there. They called gaming addiction as “spiritual opium” in a Chinese state-run publication article about online gaming a month ago. Later they removed the phrase and published an announcement post that says online gaming has a negative impact on minors’ mental and physical health.
There is no mention of whether or not non-online games will also be restricted by these rules. As for console games and foreign titles, the new regulations are vague.