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China limits under 18s to three hours online gaming a week

New regulations prevent minors from playing games Monday through Thursday
China limits under 18s to three hours online gaming a week
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China has enforced new regulations to curb the amount of time minors are allowed to play online games.

The new rules will permit under 18s three hours per week to play games, limited to an hour a day from Friday to Sunday between the hours of 20:00 to 21:00. They will also be able to play for one hour on public holidays.

Through Monday to Thursday, children will be prohibited from playing video games.

It's not clear if these restrictions also cover offline games such as games that don't require an internet connection or have multiplayer modes. 

The move is the state’s most recent to tackle concerns regarding excessive video game which is claimed to be distracting children from school and family.

Regulations in the past had granted more 'leniency'. In 2019, regulations were introduced to allow minors 90 minutes per day to play video games, rising to three hours a day during holidays.

Video game developers and publishers have been notified that they are to comply with preventing children from playing outside of these times.

Newest regulations

Earlier this month, Chinese tech firm Tencent warned investors that more regulations in the country were imminent.

Tencent has been no stranger to enforcing such rules themselves, such as the implementation of facial recognition technology earlier this year to prevent children from playing its titles between 22:00 and 08:00.

State media recently branded mobile games as a "spiritual opium," with specific mention to Tencent’s flagship title Honor of Kings. Following the criticism, the company implemented additional constraints within the title, such as prohibiting under 12s from playing.