Chinese government limits kids to three hours of gaming per week max

China - Chinese gaming company shares took a nosedive Monday with the announcement that they were no longer allowed to provide minors under 18 with more than three hours a week of gaming services.

Children are all but forbidden from online gaming in China according to a new announcement (stock image).
Children are all but forbidden from online gaming in China according to a new announcement (stock image).  © 123RF/ nestea06

Ostensibly to protect the health of minors, China has announced that tech companies providing video game services to individuals under the age of 18 are going to have to become even more stringent in cutting kids off when their time is up.

As reported by CNBC, China’s National Press and Publication Administration has said that the 110 million minors in the country who currently play video games are going to have to register their national ID to gaming accounts so that the platforms can enforce "anti-addiction" programs, kicking the kids off after their allotted times.

The rules were last updated in 2019, allowing minors to game for about 90 minutes each day on most days. Now they are capped at a total of three hours a week to be played in one hour increments between 8:00 PM and 9:00 PM on weekends and legal holidays only.

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China's government has previously called gaming "opium" and has more stringently limited it in the past, with all gaming consoles being banned from 2000-2014.

Whether downloadable games count towards this target time frame or just online games is yet to be specified.

Gaming platforms have no recourse except to comply. It's not yet clear how the new rules will apply to mobile gaming through platforms like Apple, but according to 9To5Mac the Apple Arcade gaming subscription is unavailable in China right now.

Cover photo: 123RF/ nestea06

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