China issues severe measures to battle video game addiction in the country

In a fresh attempt to curb video game addiction, China has issued stringent new measures. According to the South China Morning Post, Beijing has declared a new rule in the country, whereby gaming duration for players under the age of 18 will be limited to 8 pm and 9 pm for three days – Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and regular holidays. This officially marks China’s most severe measure so far in the fight against video game addiction in the country – especially in young people. 

According to a report by Xinhua, a state media outlet, the stringent rules came from China’s ultimate watchdogs for video games and other aspects of online media, the National Press Press and Publication Administration (NAAP), in order to tighten measures in battling video game addiction amongst teenagers. 

Massive blow to country’s biggest gaming companies

In 2019, a rule was issued that limited the playing to 90 minutes every day and 3 hours on statutory holidays for teenagers.

China has one of the highest numbers of gamers and it’s only time before the country’s new stringent measures to combat video game addiction on teenagers completely destroys a high number of the player database for gaming companies based in China like NetEase and Tencent Holdings.

Many parents have said that the gaming addiction problem among teens and children has gravely affected their ability to learn and study as well as their physical and mental health, even causing a series of societal problems.

-NAAP spokesperson in a statement to xinhua

The issued rule from the NAAP further states that gaming companies must implement real-name registration and login system for their games and deny unregistered users access to games. 

Are video game companies the solution to the gaming addiction in young players

NAAP also stressed that the country’s video game companies are the number one solution to putting an end to the increasing number of gaming addicts in the country. Beijing’s intense inspection of the gaming industry over the last couple of months has affected the stock prices of some of the country’s biggest game developers such as NetEase, Bilibili, and Tencent

Tencent Games collaboration serious games, China measures video game addiction
Tencent Games, one of the companies severely hit by these measures

The biggest hit came shortly after a state media article in China described video games as “spiritual opium” in early August, causing Tencent to lose $43 billion in market valuation in just a few hours. The company has so far lost a staggering $400 billion in value. 

Teenagers and kids only account for a small portion of revenue 

Both Tencent Games and Bilibili stated in their quarterly reports for the month of August that they have implemented the rule from NAAP to encourage anti-addiction measures demanded by Beijing authorities. 

Adding that teenagers have become a tiny portion of their total player base, it claimed that players below the age of 16 accounted for just 2.6 percent of its total gaming receipts in China, while players below the age of 12 account for 0.3 percent. Bilibili on the other hand stated that teenagers and kids accounted for only 1 percent of its overall gaming revenue.

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