China limits access to online games to 3 hours per week for minors

China announced Monday, August 30, that it will now be banned for people under the age of 18 to play online video games for more than three hours a week. The country thus maintains the objective of fighting against the addiction of the youngest to gaming.

Video game addiction has long been decried in China for its negative consequences on children’s health: reduced vision, impact on school results, lack of physical activity or risk of addiction.

The National Press and Publishing Administration, China’s audiovisual, publishing and broadcasting regulator, has announced that under-18s will only be able to play online “for an hour a day”. , and “only Friday, Saturday and Sunday”, ie three hours maximum per week. Minors will also be able to play “only between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.”, specifies the notice made public on Monday.

Previous regulations already prohibited minors from playing online between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.

To prevent minors from circumventing the ban, the regulator has called for strict enforcement of real name registration and login, requiring online gaming providers not to provide any form of gaming service to users who do not register and log in using their real identity.

These measures come at a time when the authorities are showing themselves to be particularly intransigent against the practices of the digital giants.

Several behemoths in the sector have thus been pinned down in recent months for practices hitherto tolerated and widespread, particularly in terms of personal data and user rights.

Video games represent an important financial windfall in China: they generated 17 billion euros in turnover in the first half of 2021.

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