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China details new play time and spending restrictions for minors playing online games

A notice shared by China's State Administration of Press and Publication dives into six new measures that aim to better track and restrict how much time and money minors spend playing PC and mobile games.

The Chinese government is looking to strengthen the restrictions it already places on how minors play online games through a series of new regulations detailed by Niko Partners this week.

A notice shared by China’s State Administration of Press and Publication dives into six new measures that build on existing systems to better track and restrict how much time and money minors spend playing PC and mobile games.

Those changes would require PC and mobile games to use upgraded real name identification systems that tie ID numbers to names from the government’s citizen database, similar to what’s already been implemented by Tencent in the past. Minors would be restricted to 1.5 hours of daily play on weekdays and 3 hours on weekends, with play between 10 pm and 8 am restricted entirely.

Limits are also to be imposed on how much minors can spend in games. Under new regulations, publishers must block payment options for children under the age of 8, pose a single transaction limit of 50 RMB and a monthly limit of 200 RMB for minors between 8 and 16, and restrict spending to 100 RMB per transaction and RMB 400 per month for those between 16 and 18.

Those, and other new rules detailed in the full Niko Partners writeup, ultimately aim to curb video game addiction in minors and largely build on steps the Chinese government and game companies that have large operations in the country have previously implemented in some form.

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