On Friday, Chinese regulators announced new restrictions on video games with the aim of tightening the industry’s management and protecting minors.
Subject to public comment before being made final, the proposed rules would call for users to have spending limits on the game platforms and would prevent minors from tipping videogame live streamers.
Issued by the National Press and Publication Administration, these new rules would also ban game companies from offering rewards for daily logins with the goal of keeping players from coming back. They would also require equipment used by game companies to be located in China and prohibit the use of state secrets or any information that could endanger national security.
Since 2019, Chinese authorities have been battling online game addiction among minors by setting daily time limits. In the general tech industry, a wider war has been waged with the goal of reining in ride-hailing, e-commerce, and fintech businesses they decided had become too powerful. Consequently, these companies have lost trillions of dollars in market value.
According to investment bank Goldman Sachs, China’s online game industry topped the global charts with $650 million as of last year with revenue of about $45 billion.
The announcement of the proposed rules sent the share prices of the video game companies tumbling. Netease plunged about 25% and Tencent fell by 12%.
One commenter on Weibo, China’s social media platform criticized the proposal saying, ‘Now you know who is suppressing the Chinese economy, right?’
The National Press and Publication Administration announced that it will accept feedback on the rules by January 22. The proposal could be amended before it is implemented.
By Marvellous Iwendi
Source: The New York Times