China has ordered its online gaming companies to further reduce the services they provide to young gamers, in a move intended to curb what the authorities described as “youth video game addiction”.
Under the new rule, young gamers are only allowed to spend an hour playing online games on Fridays, weekends and holidays, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
The rules, published by the National Press and Publication Administration, said users under the age of 18 would be able to play games only from 8pm to 9pm local time on those days.
Online gaming companies would be barred from providing gaming services to minors in any form outside those hours and would need to ensure they had put real name verification systems in place, said the regulator, which oversees the country’s video games market.
The latest move followed reports that children were using adult IDs to circumvent rules. Previously, the authorities had limited young gamers’ playing time to 1.5 hours a day and to three hours on holidays.