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China’s Most Restrictive Game Ban

Last year, the Chinese government issued an anti-addiction game ban, stipulating that minors can play online games for no more than three hours a week.

According to the Chinese media Yicai, this is the first summer since the implementation of the game ban, also known as the “most restrictive anti-addiction game ban in history.” Normally the summer vacation in China extends from July 11 to August 31. According to the rules, minors can only play games for one hour between 8pm and 9pm every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This translates into a total of 21 hours of online games during the whole summer.

According to available data from large gaming companies, the share of corporate revenue made from minors has decreased now that the ban has been in effect for nearly one year.

For example, in Q4 2021, after the implementation of real-name registration and facial recognition, the total game time for minors at Tencent decreased by 88 percent from the same period last year. The total traffic of minors decreased by 73 percent annually.

Knowing that some underage players would play the games using the identity of their parents, Tencent claimed that its facial recognition system will come into play in the summer. All adult accounts suspected of being operated by minors will trigger facial recognition during the login and other sessions and the system will start a “round-the-clock patrol.”

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), July 11, 2022