China to limit minors to three hours of gaming per week

China announced Monday that children will only be allowed to play video games for three hours a week, explained as one-hour Fridays, weekends, and holidays. 

Gaming platforms will only offer online gaming to minors between 8 to 9 p.m. The new restrictions come after a ruling that allowed children to play video games for 1.5 hours a day and three hours on public holidays. This will take affect starting Sept. 1, which comes in a notice from the National Press and Publication Administration. Additionally, China will implement a name verification system and users will have to present their identification.

These restrictions come as a part of a crackdown on technology companies and a potential outsized influence in society (ABC News). It also comes after a state-affiliated newspaper had called the games and gaming industry “spiritual opium.” Tencent’s stock price, a gaming giant in China, closed 0.6 percent down in Hong Kong ahead of the announcement.

Its market capitalization is down over $300 billion since its February peak. Another gaming company, NetEase was down 9 percent at the market’s open in New York. Chinese authorities in recent months have gone after e-commerce, online education and anti-competitive behavior on the technology sector.



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