BEIJING – China continues to crack down on technology industries. China bans children from online gaming for more than 3 hours per week. This restriction is the most restrictive on the gaming industry.
A notice from the State Administration of Press and Publication states that minors in China will be restricted from playing games on Fridays, Saturdays, and holidays starting September 1.
This limit the game to three hours per semaine for most of the year. It is lower than the 2019 limit, which allows minors to play up to one and a quarter hours per day and three hours on holidays.
Some of China’s biggest technology companies are affected by the new regulations, including Tencent, which is known for its online multiplayer games that are extremely popular all over the globe, and NetEase, which is known for its gaming company NetEase.
Tencent’s share value fell 0.6% on Monday, closing at HK$465.80 before the regulator’s announcement. The market value of $573 billion has dropped by more than $300B since February’s peak. This is equal to Nike and Pfizer combined.
NetEase shares were listed in New York and fell by about 9% upon opening
Gaming restrictions are part of the ongoing crackdown on technology companies because there are concerns that technology companies—many of which provide ubiquitous messaging, payment, and gaming services—may have a huge impact on society.
Tencent announced earlier this month that it would limit minors’ playing time to one hour per day and two hours on holidays and ban children under 12 years old from making in-game purchases.
Hours after a newspaper of state criticized the gaming industry, the company issued restrictions and called the game “mental opioid.”
Monday’s notice by the regulator stated that it will increase inspections and strengthen supervision of online game companies in order for them to adhere to the regulations.
After years of technology industry growth, Chinese authorities have taken a keen interest in e-commerce, online education and created new regulations to stop anti-competitive behavior.
Last month, authorities prohibited core school subject tutoring companies from making profits and decimated billions in market value of online education companies like Gaotu Technology and Good Future Education.