China is notorious for its unusual policies when it comes to online gaming, particularly among minors. Gaming addiction has been on the rise in the country and the government has tried to come up with new rules to regulate this. Earlier today, China announced a new rule which allows minors to play games for only 3 hours per week and only weekends at that.
At the start of August, Tencent’s shares dropped down by almost 11% after the Chinese government called online games “spiritual opium” in response to the increasing addiction. Recently, a new report published by Bloomberg states that China has further added restrictions to its already strict online gaming policies.
Based on the new restriction, children under the age of 18 years (minors) will only be allowed one hour of online gaming from 8:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This is a much more significant change from the previous 1.5 hours of online gaming on most days of the week. The new restriction also comes at a time that South Korea has abolished its own controversial gaming curfew.
According to Daniel Ahmad, a senior industry analyst in Asia, there are around 110 million minors that play games in China right now. In retrospect, players under the age of 16 years account for only 2.6% of Tencent’s total player spend. So, this new restriction won’t have a major influence on the company’s revenue but certainly a notable one.
For reference, there are around 110 million minors in China that play video games today.
According to Tencent, players under 16 account for approximately 2.6% of its total player spend, which shows the overall impact won't be too significant, but it's still a notable chunk.
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) August 30, 2021
Based on a recent report published by Reuters, companies have to comply with these restrictions and limit the play hours for their online games. As such, minors will be restricted to the account level using a real-name registration and anti-addiction system. Authorities also state that they’ll be closely working with parents and schools to help decrease online gaming addiction among children.
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