Asia&Pacific

Only 3 hours of videogames per week for Chinese minors, officials announce

16:56, 30 August 2021
Only 3 hours of videogames per week for Chinese minors, officials announce Photo: pixabay.com

The new cut appears as the government expresses concern over gaming addiction.


Chinese minors would now be permitted to play online videogames only three hours per week, Chinese authorities announced on Monday. Under-18 will be entitled to an hour of gameplay on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, as well as on holidays, including summer holidays.

The new law presented by the National Press and Publication Administration determines also the precise hours when online video games will be allowed: from 8 pm to 9 pm local time.

Game developers will be prohibited from providing gaming services to minors outside of these hours. They also have to verify if children insert their real names as they are written in ID, announced the responsible regulator.

The bill does not apply to offline games.

The regulator has added that it will multiple and toughen inspections of online gaming companies to check if they comply with the new rules.

The measure appears since the government seeks to eliminate negative consequences of long-hour gaming including vision deterioration and other medical issues, worsening results in school, lack of physical activity, and addiction development risks.

The previous restriction limited online gaming hours to three hours on holidays or 90 minutes on ordinary days. It also banned gaming from 10 pm to 8 am.

Earlier China National Radio has issued a series of articles criticizing the gaming industry. It called the industry spiritual opium and appealed to the government to limit access to online video games. Major Chinese game developers including Tencent, NetEase, and others saw their shares drop.

The moves come as a part of the Chinese crackdown on the IT sphere, education, and other businesses.