Tech conglomerate Tencent Holdings has stated to its younger gamers in China – those under 18 – should not expect the Chinese government’s strict gaming laws to ease over the summer holiday.
Since August 2021, minors have only been permitted to play video games for three hours per week, within the window of 18:00 to 21:00 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays: a continuation of the strict regulations that the Chinese tech industry has attributed the stagmation of growth to.
There were hopes that the holiday would see a temporary relaxing of these restrictions, as China did lift its games licensing freeze this April after almost nine months. There had also been rumours circulating on social media that minors would be permitted to game for an hour per day throughout the summer, but with Tencent’s announcement the rumours have been quashed.
The company also cautioned minors not to attempt bypassing restrictions, as it has launched an updated facial recognition system specifically to combat this.
On July 15 2022, Tencent is also due to stop allowing downloads of the mobile version of its video game portal WeGame, with the platform due to close down this September. Meanwhile, the company is rumoured to have entered hardware space with XR ambitions.
"Did you hear that gamers can play every day during the summer holiday? There might be a bit of a misunderstanding," Tencent Games posted. "It’s better to breathe in some fresh air instead of getting addicted to playing games."
Whilst Tencent's gaming revenue was up 9.9 per cent in 2021 to almost $33 billion, it has struggled to maintain this pace in 2022 – the first year to feature such strict gaming regulations on minors since the start – as revenue fell by 51 per cent year-over-year in the Q1.