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Under 18 in China? Your online gaming time has been cut even shorter.

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By
August 30, 2021
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TL;DR
  • According to state media, China has further restricted minors’ access to online games.
  • Children under 18 can play online games for just an hour on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
  • The move is in a bid to quell minors’ addiction to online games.

If you’re a parent in China struggling to get your child away from online games, a new notice may help your cause. According to a report from that country, children under 18 now face steep limitations of when and how long they can play online games.

Per state-affiliated publication Xinhua, minors can only play online games between 8 PM and 9 PM on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. The notice stems from China’s National Press and Publication Administration to reduce minors’ addiction to online games. Notably, the onus isn’t on parents to keep kids away from their favorite titles. Instead, online game providers like Tencent and NetEase are tasked with providing real-name registration details to keep tabs on their users.

The new guidelines build on China’s existing set of restrictions introduced in November 2019, which stipulated a maximum online gaming time of 90 minutes per day and three hours during holidays, per The New York Times. Just a few months prior, the World Health Organization classified “gaming disorder” as a diagnosable health condition.

China’s latest move will likely be frustrating to the country’s big online firms. Earlier this month, Tencent announced it would restrict children under 12 from conducting in-app purchases in its titles, per SCMP. It also introduced a time cap for those under 18 playing its flagship title, Honour of Kings.

What do you think of restricting children's access to games?

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Some may probably argue that the responsibility lies with parents to restrict children from online games. But what’s your view? What do you think of restricting minors’ access to online games? Be sure to vote in our poll above and let your thoughts be known below.