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NetEase to introduce mobile game curfew in China

The developer-publisher will stop young players from logging on to select mobile titles from 9:30pm to 8:30am, preventing them from spending all night glued to their smartphone. 

NetEase intends to curb game addition fears in China by imposing a curfew on younger players. 

As reported by ChinaDaily, the developer-publisher will stop children and teens from logging on to select mobile titles from 9:30pm to 8:30am, preventing them from spending all night glued to their smartphone. 

The system will also limit anyone under the age of 12 to one hour of playtime from Monday to Friday, and two hours on weekends. Those aged between 13 and 18 will be granted two hours of daily playtime during the week, and three hours on weekends. 

All unregistered users will only be granted two hours of playtime in total, and will be prevented from buying in-app purchases, while parents will also be given the ability to monitor their child's playtime and spending habits using a platform called NetEase Parenting Care.

The restrictions will initially be rolled out across 15 popular NetEase titles including Fantasy Westward Journey, Knives Out, and Onmyoji, starting this month.

NetEase isn't the first to impose restrictions on children. Honor of Kings developer Tencent employed similar tactics back in 2017, and even started using police databases to more effectuvely clamp down on underage players. 

Still, it's a timely move for the company, with regulators in China having recently toughened their stance on video games -- resulting in a licensing freeze that's only now beginning to ease up.

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