Image: Screen Post (Pexels)

Younger gamers in China better make their online gaming count, as they’re going to be doing a lot less of it.

As relayed by the country’s local media watchdog, the National Press and Publication Administration (NAAP), China has decided to implement new rules that severely limit the amount of online gaming that Tencent Holdings Ltd. and other platforms can provide Chinese youth per week.

Going forward, minors (those under 18) will only be able to access online games from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays, weekends, and public holidays.

That’s already arguably excessive in itself, but what’s even worse is that Chinese youth will only be able to play one hour per day on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays. That equates to just three hours of online gaming per week.

China’s decision stems from a campaign to control the expansion of large tech companies and the addictive effect that online gaming is said to have on the country’s youth.

The new rules include the following key points:

  • 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

Analysts have pointed out that China’s decision effectively prevents gaming platforms from making any money off of minors, while others argue that the new restrictions are much too severe.

“This ruling is the strictest one to date and will essentially wipe out most spending from minors, which we note was already extremely low,” said Daniel Ahmad, an analyst at Niko Partners.

“Three hours per week is too tight,” added Steven Leung, an executive director at UOB Kay Hian (Hong Kong) Ltd. “I thought regulatory measures would take a break gradually, but it’s not stopping at all. It will hurt the nascent tech rebound for sure.”

Image: Xinhua News Agency

Tencent and other companies have said children account for only a fraction of their businesses, especially after recent restrictions. The country’s largest games company has said the revenue from minors yields less than 3 percent of its gross gaming receipts in China.

Sources: Bloomberg, SCMP

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9 Comments

  1. These threads usually go one way.. mock china, mock ‘nanny state’, frown at other people’s rule of law, and feing concern for their citizens. Responses are usually cookie cutter. I am becoming under a different impression not a concern but something that would be interesting to know one way or the other…. Are Chinese citizens more sensitive to become involved with trends these types things than us? Its so difficult to get a less biased views of things but it would seem that as a society they do act more in a group, and trends do seem to run large and deep…. But I can’t in no way have proper data.. im mostly looking at it from the side that I’m going to be fed some bull about their government being useless and incompetent, but if looking from the opposite site and you assume they are not always incompetent and useless, then there must be a reason for these actions.

  2. I’m thinking it will be a token policy that can/will be circumvented just like the Great Firewall.

    the only question would be what the punishment would be for getting caught, if/when the government decided to crack down.

  3. Sounds a little extreme, but they are concerned of the impact gaming is having on kids, and if you’ve spoken to any boy between the ages of say 8 and 24 lately, you probably would be too.

    In droves kids are ignoring school, sports, friends and everything else with a singular obsession of “making it” in games streaming or YouTube. And they are all convinced they will be the next big thing in gaming and that they shouldn’t have to do anything else but play games 16 hours a day, and if you don’t support that you are “not supporting their dreams”.

    Sure, some of this comes down to parenting, but many parents are feeling completely overwhelmed by the constant pull of gaming these days, and are just plain exhausted. If this isn’t controlled somehow, our entire society could fail. A generation ago kids wanted to grow up to be scientists, engineers, doctors, astronauts, you name it. In China they largely still do (with some exceptions, which is why they are taking these aggressive steps) In the U.S. today if you ask any kid what they want to be when they grow up, they are much more likely to say something like Professional Gamer or Streamer, or Youtuber or Influencer.

    And who can blame them. On the surface it seems like they can live a life of luxury (or at least fully support themselves) by just doing what they think is fun. You can try to set them straight all you want, comparing it to how kids have always wanted to become rock stars, or star athletes, but how it is irresponsible to count on something so unlikely, and that you have to take care of your studies first, and do these other things on the side.

    And when you do, they [I]will not believe you.[/I] They are constantly bombarded with “evidence” of the opposite. Successful streamers who just sit in their mansions and do nothing but play games and drive their lambo all day. They will not believe it when you tell them that:

    a.) For every one who is successful like this, there are literally millions who are trying and failing. The odds against success are enormous; and
    b.) Even for the ones who are successful, you are only seeing what they want you to see, not the drudgery of every day life, or the constant fear of dropping off and no longer trending leading to exhaustion and desperation to keep up with content.

    This is when guilt trip statements like “you don’t support my dreams” or ” you just don’t believe in me, I wish I had parents who believed in me” come out, and they are absolutely soul crushing to a parent.

    Parents are fighting this battle every day and they are completely and totally exhausted and losing the battle, and if it goes unaddressed it won’t take many generations before our entire workforce is just a bunch of useless people who don’t know anything but how to post a video on social media.

    [I]SOMEONE [/I]has to do the real work. The designing, the building, the making, and right now, looking around schools and neighborhoods, I am really quite concerned that the path most of these kids are on, does not lead enough of them to be able to do the real work to sustain our country in the future.

  4. [QUOTE=”Zarathustra, post: 40605, member: 203″]
    [I]SOMEONE [/I]has to do the real work. The designing, the building, the making, and right now, looking around schools and neighborhoods, I am really quite concerned that the path most of these kids are on, does not lead enough of them to be able to do the real work to sustain our country in the future.
    [/QUOTE]

    I agree in large part to what you are saying here. What this is going to lead to is the poor and rural kids growing up learning how to problem solve and work and design solutions to come in and freaking SHINE. They will know how to work on their own cars, how to solve problems without outside resources to come in and replace whatever it s that isn’t working. Sure some Urban kids will have similar life experiences and be there as well. But it will mostly be the poorer communities that have learned real problem solving skills through life lessons that lets them do this.

    When my kids were teenagers they would have computer problems and bring them to me and say. “This doesn’t work.” So I would make them sit down and actually work to solve the problem with the resources we had on hand. Prove what device or piece was not working and take the path to get it replaced/fixed if needed or solve the problem otherwise.

    Too many parents don’t want to spend the time to do that so they can get back to netflix or whatever it is that is burning their time. So they just spend some money and solve the problem because they can.

    Learning to solve problems however it is learned with no ‘game’ constraints is the best way to develop critical thinking. So parents here start helping your kids to find solutions rather than just replacement solutions or doing it for them. In the long run they will be better contributors to our future society… (and if my son who’s in his mid 20’s is any tell.. think others that never had that experience are idiots.)

    If you need a way to do it that is fun for the kids. Learn to run D&D or some other tabletop game. Finding solutions then becomes about how you and them communicate and how they creatively use their resources and imaginations to add to the world/game. Again teaching critical thinking and problem solving.

    Heck you are a 20 something and you want to make it in streaming and online content? Start making how to videos… and use some or be a hot girl to do it. Just think Megan Fox from the first and second transformers movies. Doesn’t need to be that hot but a cute girl that knows her shit is going to get hits AND teach webo’s how to do useful things.

  5. You guys are right on. My niece and nephew (no kids for this guy) would sleep with screens on their face if they could. Bro in law basically has to take their devices away and force them to do regular kid stuff outside. Which I sorta find humorous considering he is a huge tech nerd.

    Back in my day, it was heavy metal and RPG games like D&D that were the devil. Nobody got rich playing D&D to be certain. But it does teach you how to interact with others, math, reading, etc. I can see the value now. LOL I should talk Bro in law to get them playing D&D I’m sure that would go over well 🙂

  6. [QUOTE=”Uvilla, post: 40559, member: 397″]
    These threads usually go one way.. mock china, mock ‘nanny state’, frown at other people’s rule of law, and feing concern for their citizens. Responses are usually cookie cutter. I am becoming under a different impression not a concern but something that would be interesting to know one way or the other…. [B]Are Chinese citizens more sensitive to become involved with trends these types things than us[/B]? Its so difficult to get a less biased views of things but it would seem that as a society they do act more in a group, and trends do seem to run large and deep…. But I can’t in no way have proper data.. im mostly looking at it from the side that I’m going to be fed some bull about their government being useless and incompetent, but if looking from the opposite site and you assume they are not always incompetent and useless, then there must be a reason for these actions.
    [/QUOTE]
    Is that the soft bigotry of low expectations that I detect?

    Yeah, the government that bans a cartoon because someone compared their dear leader to a cartoon character, must have reasonable justification for everything. Sounds legit. And BTW reasonable from their perspective can still be completely unacceptable by our moral standards. Just as I don’t accept sharia law as something good, I don’t have to accept china’s policies either.

    I cannot believe someone in their right mind would try to justify a communist dictatorship’s actions.

  7. [QUOTE=”Zarathustra, post: 40605, member: 203″]
    Sounds a little extreme, but they are concerned of the impact gaming is having on kids, and if you’ve spoken to any boy between the ages of say 8 and 24 lately, you probably would be too.
    [/QUOTE]
    I don’t know about that, when I was a kid people were equally concerned about the impact of gaming. Gaming isn’t something new that only started in this generation.

    [QUOTE]In droves kids are ignoring school, sports, friends and everything else with a singular obsession of “making it” in games streaming or YouTube. And they are all convinced they will be the next big thing in gaming and that they shouldn’t have to do anything else but play games 16 hours a day, and if you don’t support that you are “not supporting their dreams”.[/QUOTE]
    Maybe it’s a bit hard to make a kid understand it, but doing gaming as a career sucks all the fun right out of it. When you are obliged to stream every day, and not doing it because you want to it stops being fun. It’s much akin to taking a tester job at a game developer. The butt end of gaming development. But you’ve “made it”.

    I know from my own experience, that when my parents banned me from gaming that didn’t mean I automatically picked up on school, or sports or anything they would’ve wanted. Bans never have the desired effect.

    Maybe someone ought to do a professional survey on the subject, but I doubt most kids play games because they see a career opportunity in it. They just do it because it is fun. Then might throw out the career thing as an excuse when they are questioned about their gaming habits, but that’s the extent of it.

    I might have used the “I want to be a game developer” excuse when I was a kid. And now I’m fucking glad I didn’t go there.

    [QUOTE]This is when guilt trip statements like “you don’t support my dreams” or ” you just don’t believe in me, I wish I had parents who believed in me” come out, and they are absolutely soul crushing to a parent.[/QUOTE]
    If the kid is really honest and actually putting in work to make it as a streamer, then you should absolutely support them. But it’s up to the parent to detect if he is just making an excuse for his habits, or is he really working on a career. Sometimes the best way to make them quit is by actually helping them. When they realize that being a streamer is not just playing games you want all day, but chasing trends, and playing and acting even when you feel completely shitty and have zero interest to play a particular game.

  8. [QUOTE=”MadMummy76, post: 40638, member: 1298″]
    Is that the soft bigotry of low expectations that I detect?

    Yeah, the government that bans a cartoon because someone compared their dear leader to a cartoon character, must have reasonable justification for everything. Sounds legit. And BTW reasonable from their perspective can still be completely unacceptable by our moral standards. Just as I don’t accept sharia law as something good, I don’t have to accept china’s policies either.

    I cannot believe someone in their right mind would try to justify a communist dictatorship’s actions.
    [/QUOTE]
    Nah, its just in my mind mostly due to the fact that often government over there seem to take actions like these we call ‘nanny state’. Or all these according to our propaganda anyway. Its very difficult to get balanced information, that even when I try to reason a lot of the propaganda out, I don’t even know what Im left with. Otherwise I don’t know what the Chinese do or whatever. To me Its sad most Americans see zero sum, and act accordingly, with enemies everywhere.

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