China bans kids from playing online games for more than 3 hours per week to safeguard their physical and mental health
Millions of Chinese minors are addicted to playing hours of online games every week. Now the Chinese government is doing something about it. On Monday, China’s National Press and Publication Administration announced that kids and teens under 18 years old in China will only be allowed up to three hours per week to play online video games.
According to a translated notice about the new rules published on Monday, minors under the age of 18 in China will be allowed one hour a day between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Fridays through Sundays and on legal holidays to play video games.
The agency said the new rules will safeguard children’s physical and mental health. The new rules will apply to companies providing online game services to minors, limiting their ability to serve those users outside of designated hours. Under the previous 2019 rules, under-18s were allowed to play games for 1.5 hours a day on most days.
“Notice on Further Strict Management and Effective Prevention of Minors’ Indulging in Online Games”. In response to the problem of minors’ overuse or even indulging in online games, further strict management measures have been taken to resolutely prevent minors from indulging in online games. , And effectively protect the physical and mental health of minors,” the agency wrote.
Daniel Ahmad, a senior analyst at market research firm Niko Partners, describes the new policy as “extremely restrictive” and points out that the existing rules limit minors to 1.5 hours of gaming per day. The policy, which is set to go into effect September 1, will be enforced at the account level by using existing requirements for real-name registration and China’s current anti-addiction system, he added.
“For reference, there are around 110 million minors in China that play video games today,” Ahmad said on Twitter. However, it’s worth noting that the regulation covers only online games, and Ahmad also says that while 110 million players is a lot of people, Chinese publisher Tencent says they represent only about 2.6% of its total player spend.
“However, we do not expect the decline in spend to have a significant material impact on the bottom line of game companies given limits on time and spending have already been in place for minors for the past two years. Therefore, we expect a softer impact on overall growth rates as spending among minors was already low.”
Explaining the reasons for the new rule, the agency said: “The notice proposes that it is necessary to actively guide the co-management and co-governance of families, schools and other social sectors, perform the guardianship responsibilities of minors in accordance with the law, and create a good environment for the healthy growth of minors.”