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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.

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.

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