Over the last year or so, I’m sure kids have been spending a lot more time playing games online than usual, thanks to the pandemic.
But now, China is putting a limit to this time. The country has banned children from playing online games for more than three hours a week.
Chinese regulators are known for cracking down on the technology sector but this is probably the harshest restriction to date.
Children Can Only Play On Certain Days and Times
Children in China are now only allowed to play games between 8pm and 9pm on Fridays, weekends and on public holidays. This new law takes effect from from Wednesday, according to a notice from the General Administration of Press and Publication states.
This means that gaming will be permitted for only three hours a week (most weeks), down from a previous restriction set in 2019 which allowed minors to play games for an hour and a half per day. Three hours of play used to be allowed on public holidays.
China’s Largest Technology Companies Impacted
The new law will certainly have an affect on some of China’s largest technology companies such as Tencent and NetEase.
Tencent’s stock price dropped 0.6 per cent at 465.80 Hong Kong dollars on Monday ahead of the announcement. New York-listed NetEase’s stock was also down about 9 per cent.
Crackdown On Tech Companies
The restrictions on gaming are part of an ongoing crackdown on technology companies, following concerns that technology firms may have an enormous influence on society.
In recent months we have seen Chinese authorities targeting other e-commerce companies and even online education. They have implemented new regulations to curb anti-competitive behaviour after years of rapid growth in the technology sector.
There are clearly good intentions with these new laws, but we sure the kids will not be too happy about this one!