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China Wants To Crack Down On Video Game Playtime Even More

China's gaming industry is massive. Mobile games, specifically, are incredibly popular among China's youth, with games such as "Call of Duty Mobile" and "Ring of Elysium" dominating the market. As a result, their developer Tencent is a massive gaming empire valued at $463 billion, making it the 12th most valuable company in the world. But the Chinese government isn't okay with the amount of time and money its citizens put into these online games—specifically gamers under 18.

In 2019, in an attempt to combat video game addiction, Chinese officials capped microtransactions in online games and limited game time to 90 minutes daily for minors. Companies like Tencent regulate children's game time by using facial scanning software to lock those out that aren't adults. This game-time restriction was later tightened even more in 2021 to only three hours per week. And recently, Chinese officials have announced that they want to take things a step further, explaining that it has plans to further clamp down on underage. 

China is looking to decrease gaming addiction in youths further

According to the South China Morning Post, China's semi-official gaming industry association is not done implementing regulations for minors when it comes to video games. During a recent conference, Ao Ran, secretary general of the China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association, stated, "Adolescents have a strong awareness of the negative impact of games ... and also have a certain sense of self-control while playing games." But that the gaming industry must still "further improve the level of protection and bolster these measures." However, there has been no information on how the government plans to protect children from online gaming addiction further.

This statement from Ao Ran will come as a surprise to many. In 2021, the Nation Press and Publication Administration (NPAA) stated that the video game addiction issue in minors was basically solved. According to a survey of parents, the organization found that a significant number of players — who were also minors — reduced video game playtime to just three hours a week. In addition, it found that most parents surveyed were okay with their children gaming under supervision. 

So, it may be a surprise that the semi-official organization is looking for more solutions to the problem. The organization instead sees the issues with gaming addiction as an ongoing problem among youth despite the restrictions and that more needs to be done to relieve the issues further.