Gaming in China Just Got Far More Difficult With a New Restrictions

These Are Ridiculously Harsh Restrictions

China is really cracking down on gaming as minors can now only play three hours a week. This is an incredibly harsh limit and is China’s strictest restriction yet over gaming limits.

Tencent and NetEase are now only able to offer online gaming to minors from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays, weekends, and public holidays. This is a huge blow to the mobile gaming market and incredibly strict compared to the 1.5 hours a day that used to be the rule in China.

Netease slid as much as 7% in pre-market trading in New York, while Prosus NV, Tencent’s biggest shareholder, fell 1.9% in Europe. It is safe to say these restrictions are hurting the market.

These restrictions are certainly going to hurt these companies, but they claim minors are just a fraction of their userbase. The country’s largest games company has said the revenue from minors yields less than 3% of its gross gaming receipts in China.

China is absolutely terrified of gaming addiction, and these restrictions show it. While gaming addiction can be a serious problem, limiting someone’s game time to just three hours a week is probably not the best way to about it.

Tencent had this to say on the situation:

“Since 2017, Tencent has explored and applied various new technologies and functions for the protection of minors. That will continue, as Tencent strictly abides by and actively implements the latest requirements from Chinese authorities.”

Here are other key points in the new rules:

  • All online games should be linked to a state anti-addiction system, and companies can’t provide services to users without real-name registrations
  • Regulators will ratchet up checks over how gaming firms carry out restrictions on things like playing time and in-game purchases
  • Regulators will work with parents, schools, and other members of the society to combat youth gaming addiction

These are incredibly harsh restrictions, and it will be interesting to see how this impacts the market and see if China cracks down on gaming even more in the future.