China Has Resolved Its Youth Game Addiction Problem, Industry Body Claims

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China has resolved the problem of game addiction among its youth, a report co-written by the country’s top gaming industry association said, in remarks likely to be welcomed by the regulations-battered sector. The comment came from a report by the China Game Industry Group Committee, affiliated with the online game publishing regulator, China Game Industry Research Institute and data provider CNG, CNG said on its official WeChat account on Tuesday.

Chinese regulators in September last year stepped in with new rules barring anyone under 18 from playing video games for more than three hours a week, a stringent social intervention that it said was needed to pull the plug on a growing addiction to what it had described as “spiritual opium”.

A month later, Chinese state media stated that loopholes allowing minors to bypass new rules aimed at curbing gaming play time to three hours per week should be removed to “prevent addiction.”

“On some online trading platforms, there are game account rental and sales businesses, users can bypass the supervision by renting and buying accounts and playing online games without restrictions. This means that there are still loopholes for teenagers to enter online gaming, which is worthy of attention,” a commentary in the Communist Party’s official People’s Daily newspaper said at the time.

The move came as part of a broad regulatory crackdown against the Chinese technology sector and was seen as an effort to also tighten controls over the gaming industry, which was hit soon afterwards with a lengthy title approval freeze.

CNG said the report found that more than 75 percent of young players now played games for less than 3 hours a week and praised Chinese game companies for achieving “remarkable results” after setting up systems to curb game addiction.

It cited efforts from Tencent Holdings, NetEase and Perfect World, among others.

© Thomson Reuters 2022


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