Chinese Government Introduces New Gaming Regulations Over Lunar New Year

The Chinese Government has been on a mission to restrict young people’s access to video games recently. The latest announcement, which coincides with the Chinese New Lunar Year, will further limit how much young people can access video games.

Tencent, the largest video game developer and publisher in China, published a calendar earlier this week. The calendar details the specific times which under 18s are allowed to play. Tencent posted the calendar on popular Chinese blog site Weibo

Children and teenagers are limited to 14 hours of playtime over the holidays. Tencent stated, “Play less games this winter vacation, and you will be the best at the beginning of school next year.” It also recommended, “When you can’t play games, you can read more, exercise more, and get close to nature.

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The Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations typically last around 15 days. It starts on the last day of January with the Lantern Festival. This means young gamers will need to ration out their gaming time throughout the holiday. The government continues to also enforce the rules from last year. This means that people are only able to play games between 8pm and 9pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. 

The Chinese government introduced the rules in a bid to fight gaming addiction. It labelled online games as a form of “spiritual opium”, and introduced the rules in a bid to shift young people away from video games. 

Unsurprisingly, the Chinese video game industry has struggled since the government introduced the rules. 14,000 gaming companies have shut down since the enforcement went live. The specific freeze on video game licenses, which allows gaming related businesses to operate, has pushed companies out of the industry. 

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Elsewhere, Sony’s stock plummeted earlier this week as the news of Microsoft’s Activision-Blizzard acquisition hit the media. 

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