China has introduced a new rule limiting the number of hours of online video games under 18s can play in a week to 3, with only an hour of time permitted on Fridays, weekends, and holidays between 8pm – 9pm local time. This is a change from the previous limit of 1.5 hours a day (and more on certain days).
The National Press and Public Administration, who have created the rules, have stated that online games companies would be required to implement a real name verification system to help ensure adherence to the new rules, as well saying they would be increasing the amount of inspections for online games companies to ensure that the time limits are being adhered to. State media recently referred to online video games as a “Spiritual Opium”, and decided to implement the measures to “effectively protect the physical and mental health of minors” (Source: The Guardian).
Tencent, one of the world’s biggest companies in the industry whose shares were impacted by state media’s coverage of the online games market, has announced new measures in order to reduce the amount of time and money minors would be spending on their games.