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Authorities Push Gaming Companies to Enforce New Rules for Minors

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With China tightening its regulations on online gaming for minors, authorities recently summoned Chinese gaming companies to push them to enforce the rules and address loopholes.

On September 8, officials from the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China, the National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA), and the Office of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission met with staff at leading gaming companies, including Tencent and NetEase.

The meeting came after the NPPA announced new regulations on August 30, restricting gaming companies from providing more than three hours of service time per week for those under 18.

Authorities asked related companies to comply with the new rules, emphasizing that they should censor the content of their games and address the widespread over-spending associated with gaming.

The August regulation also asked companies to enforce identity verification for gamers. State media reports in early September found that minors purchase or rent adult accounts to bypass facial recognition and real-name identification on gaming platforms that require users to be at least 18 to play during curfew hours.

On September 7, Tencent announced that it had sued more than 20 online gaming trading platforms, including 5173 and TaoShaoYou, for renting accounts to minors. Tencent has also sent cease and desist letters to e-commerce platforms, including JD.com and Taobao.

Some cities have taken action against gaming companies that have broken the rules.

On September 14, Beijing authorities warned and fined an internet company that had six games open to minors from 10 PM to 8 AM daily, a time frame designated as curfew hours in the June update of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Minors.

Cover image via Depositphotos

Yiwen Lu
    Yiwen is a student journalist studying Economics and Political Science at the University of Chicago. She was born and raised in Shanghai.