BEIJING: China has announced a curfew on online gaming for minors among new measures aimed at curbing video game addiction.
The official government guidelines will be applied to all online gaming platforms operating in the country, most notably the world’s biggest gaming company, Tencent.
Under the new rules, gamers aged under 18 will be banned from playing online games between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. On weekdays, minors can only play for 90 minutes, while they may play up to three hours per day on weekends and public holidays.
The guidelines also place restrictions on the amount of money minors can transfer to their online gaming accounts. Gamers aged between eight and 16 years old can only top up 200 yuan ($29) per month, while the maximum amount for those between 16 and 18 will be 400 yuan ($57).
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The new rules will also require all gamers to use real-name registration and details such as phone number or ID number to sign up.
A hashtag about the new rules was one of the most discussed on China’s social media platform Weibo on Thursday with 210 million views.
China is the world’s biggest video game market, but the government has been tightening up on the industry amid concerns about health, worsening near-sightedness in children and online addiction.