Shanghai summons online gaming companies to strictly limit services for minors
Published: Sep 14, 2021 07:13 PM
File photo: VCG

File photo: VCG

Shanghai on Tuesday requested online game service providers in the city to increase their focus on preventing minors from becoming addicted to online gaming.

In a dialogue with over 20 online game companies in Shanghai, the municipal government requested the service providers to improve the quality of their games and cultural content, while underscoring the need to put the welfare of minors first.

This came days after more than four Chinese central government departments, including the Publicity Department of the Central Committee, summoned major online gaming companies including Tencent and NetEase on September 8 for talks to tackle growing gaming addiction amongst young people.

Previously, the National Press and Publication Administration announced on August 30 regulations to limit gaming hours for minors with a clear guidance stipulating all online game companies can only provide minors with one-hour of service from 8 pm to 9 pm only on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and statutory holidays. 

Companies are also required to strictly implement the real-name registration and login requirements of online game user accounts, and do not provide game services to users who have not registered and logged in in any form. Penalties and other administrative action will be applicable to companies who stray outside the new rules.

Minors are overrepresented when it comes to online game addiction, highlighting the importance for new targeted regulations for online gaming. According to a research report on the internet usage of minors in China in 2020, 62.5 percent of the minors using the internet often play games online and the proportion of playing mobile games is 56.4 percent. 

More than 60 online game companies including industry leaders such as Tencent and NetEast have responded to the rules by seriously dealing with gaming addition for minors.