China: minors banned from playing more than 3 hours of video games per week

To combat online gambling addiction, the Chinese government announced on Monday, August 30 that it will ban minors from playing video games for more than three hours a week.

Chinese authorities on Monday (August 30) limited the amount of time minors can spend playing online games to one hour on Fridays, weekends and public holidays, in a bid to combat their gambling addiction, state media reported.

Under the new regulation, users under 18 will only be able to play between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. local time on those days, according to the China News Agency.

Online gaming companies will not be allowed to provide gaming services to them outside of that time slot and will have to ensure that identity verification systems are in place, said the regulator, which oversees the country’s video game market.

China previously limited minors’ access to online games to three hours during vacations and an hour and a half on other days.

Inspections of online gaming companies to be stepped up

The new provisions are part of a broad campaign of tightened controls by Beijing on Chinese tech giants such as Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings, which has raised investor concern and weighed on Chinese stocks in China and abroad.

The State Administration of Press and Publication will also increase the frequency and intensity of inspections of online gaming companies to ensure that time limits and anti-addiction systems are in place, she told China News.