China’s crackdown on online gaming for minors

China is cracking down on the gaming industry for minors. The State has issued instructions to the online gaming companies, with a view to rein in the minors and control the time they spend on online gaming. As per the latest directive issued to the online gaming companies, minors will not be allowed to play games on any weekday. Minors can only play online on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays. And, that too for an hour at most, between 2000-2100 hours local time.

Furthermore, the Chinese State has asked the gaming companies to ensure that games can be played by registered users only. Each minor will need to share complete name and details so that he or she can be easily identified. Each minor will also need to register with the gaming site. The move by China seems to be focused on reducing the gaming time of minors. It may also be targeted at the powerful gaming companies.

The full order is as given below:

The State Press and Publication Administration issued a notice to further strict management to effectively prevent minors from being addicted to online games.

Strictly limit the time of providing online game services to minors – All online game enterprises can only provide one hour of service to minors from 20:00 to 21:00 daily on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays.

Strictly implement the requirements for real-name registration and login of online game user accounts – Do not provide game services in any form to users without real-name registration and login.

Strengthen supervision – Seriously deal with online game enterprises that do not strictly implement the requirements in accordance with the law.

Actively guide families, schools, and other social parties to co-manage and govern.

It remains to be seen if more countries follow suit and impose restrictions on the online gaming industry. The impact of this decision is also unclear. It is not apparently clear if the minors can download the games for offline playing or if the gaming companies are supposed to put a limit on that too, through a mix of app security and permissions. Further, it remains to be seen how the parents react to this order.

In the recent months, China has been cracking down on powerful business companies that are based in China. The crackdown on online gaming industry seems to be the latest in the slew of measures that seem to be focused on controlling the Internet, and its usage in the country for different industries.