Tencent tests facial recognition in games as part of anti-addiction measures for minors

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/5/15 20:35:24

China's technology giant Tencent reaches out to individuals and organizations worldwide with its telecommunication services. Photo: cnsphoto

Chinese tech company Tencent is testing the application of facial recognition in games as part of further anti-addiction measures for minors under the age of 18, media reports said.

Users who have passed through real name verification, but are still judged by the system to show behavior similar to that of minors, will be asked to go through facial recognition verification if they have topped up more than 400 yuan ($56.33) in a month and want to top up more. Only those whose facial recognition result is in line with their identification information will be allowed to pay more. 

The test is now being carried out on a small scale.

Tencent said it will gradually explore the technology based on a cautious attitude that takes full consideration of users' privacy, information safety and the need to identify minor players, in response to public concerns that the technology may be used in an improper way. 

The company also plans to install anti-addiction systems for minors in all mobile games in the first half of 2020, including blockbuster game the Honor of Kings. The system will restrict minors' playing time and in-game expenditure. It also allows parental controls. 

Tencent has drawn strong criticism in China in recent years for allowing young players to spend excessive time on video games, with increasing calls for stricter scrutiny of the issue. In November 2019, the National Press and Publication Administration issued a notice that bans gamers under the age of 18 from playing online games between 10 pm and 8 am.

In the first quarter, Tencent's revenue from online games soared 31 percent year-on-year to 37.298 billion yuan.


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