China limits mobile gaming time to three hours for minors: Report

  • The National Press and Public Administration said that children can play games between 8pm and 9pm on Fridays and weekends and on public holidays.
People play mobile games at a booth at the China Digital Entertainment Expo and Conference, also known as ChinaJoy, in Shanghai(REUTERS)
People play mobile games at a booth at the China Digital Entertainment Expo and Conference, also known as ChinaJoy, in Shanghai(REUTERS)
Published on Aug 30, 2021 10:20 PM IST
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Written by Shankhyaneel Sarkar | Edited by Avik Roy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Chinese government on Tuesday announced a set of rules where it cracked down on children’s mobile gaming time as it continues to exert its control over the nation’s technology sector. The new rule states that minors in China will be allowed to play games on their phone for only three hours a week starting September 1.

The National Press and Public Administration said that children can play games between 8pm and 9pm on Fridays and weekends and on public holidays. The new rule decreases the gaming time for children to three hours on maximum weeks of the year. Earlier, the Chinese government allowed minors to spend 90 minutes per day and three hours per week on mobile gaming.

The Chinese government also said that it would increase the frequency of inspections of online game companies to make sure that these technology sector giants adhere to the regulations.

China’s tech companies affected by new rule

Gaming giant Tencent as well as NetEase were affected by the new regulations. Tencent, known for its Honor of Kings online multiplayer game globally, saw its stock price close down 0.6% at 465.80 Hong Kong dollars on Monday ahead of the regulator’s announcement.

Tencent’s market capitalization of $573 billion is down more than $300 billion from its February peak, according to a report by news agency Associated Press. The decline is equal to more than the total value of Nike Inc and Pfizer Inc.

The Chinese government is imposing these restrictions on gaming in a bid to control technology companies who they believe ‘may have an outsized influence on society’. Tencent earlier said it would limit gaming time for children to 60 minutes to an hour per day and to two hours during holidays. The company also banned children under the age of 12 from making in-game purchases.

(with inputs from Associated Press)

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Tuesday, October 26, 2021