China To Limit Youth Online Gaming
China’s video game regulator will limit online gaming for anyone under the age of 18 to one hour a day, specifically between 8-9pm, and only on Fridays, weekends and holidays.
The rule comes into effect on Thursday according to a notice from the National Press and Publication Administration. Earlier rulings had limited under 18’s online game-playing to 90 minutes per day, rising to three hours on holidays.
Gaming companies have also been told to prevent children playing outside these times and inspections of online gaming companies will also increase to ensure time limits are being enforced.
It’s not clear how regulators might restrict offline gaming or if they intend to, but Ars Technica indicates the rule applies to “all devices, including phones”. The move ties to a long-running concern of authorities about the impact of gaming addiction and other harmful online activities among youth according to the Xinhua news agency.
The new rules come amid a broad crackdown on China’s tech giants such as Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings which have seen their shares being hammered – Tencent’s market capitalization is reportedly down more than USD$300 billion in six months (more than the total value of Nike or Pfizer).
Source: ABC, BBC