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China's second-largest e-commerce platform bans unlicensed games after playtime crackdown

The news comes after Chinese regulators moved to restrict young people to three hours of playtime per week.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

September 3, 2021

1 Min Read

China's second-largest e-commerce platform, JD.com, has banned the sale of unlicensed 'grey market' video games after the Chinese government tightened playtime restrictions.

As reported by the South China Morning Post, JD has pledged to remove up to 86 titles, including popular releases like The Last of Us Part 2, Super Mario Maker 2, Call of Duty, and FIFA 21, from its platform.

The move comes after Chinese regulators chose to restrict those under the age of 18 to three hours of playtime per week, comprising one hour per day from Friday to Sunday between 8pm and 9pm.

Earlier this week, the National Press and Publication Administration told Chinese State Media the new restrictions were designed to protect the "physical and mental health of minors" during an "era of national rejuvenation."

Although it would be possible to circumvent those restrictions using an unlicensed title (as the new rules rely on games being registered under their real name), JD is seemingly intent on playing ball with Chinese regulators, and in a statement issued on September 3 agreed to ban any game that violates national or constitutional law.

"When it comes to this category of goods, JD will make such high-pressure clean-up the norm,” said the company, adding that anybody attempting to sell unlicensed titles moving forward will be penalized.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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