Tencent imposes daily gaming limits to curb addiction among minors

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Tencent announced this week that it will limit the amount of time children can play the role-playing mobile game Honor of Kings, amid concerns that some kids were becoming addicted.

As Reuters reports, the Chinese internet giant will begin limiting play time for users below the age of 18 on Tuesday. Players under the age of 12 will be limited to one hour of playing per day and will be blocked from accessing the game after 9PM, Tencent said. Users between 12 and 18 years old will have a two-hour daily limit.

The move comes in response to growing complaints that children were becoming addicted to Honor of Kings, which has more than 200 million users and is the world’s top-grossing mobile game. The state-run People’s Daily criticized the game in an editorial following Tencent’s announcement, saying it promotes “negative energy” and could weaken traditional values, according to Bloomberg.

“There are no rules to prevent indulgence in mobile games in China, but we decided to be the first to try to dispel parental worries by limiting play time and forcing children to log off,” Tencent said in a WeChat post this week, as quoted by Reuters. Tencent shares fell as much as 5.1 percent on Tuesday following the announcement of its game limits, according to The Financial Times.

It is not clear whether the new measures will be applied only to China or to other countries, as well. South Korea implemented a similar restriction on gaming in 2011, barring users under the age of 16 from accessing popular games between midnight and 6AM.

Tencent plans to upgrade its parental control system to help monitor gaming among kids, according to Reuters, and will implement restrictions on in-app purchases among young users. The company will also require all players to register with their real names; those who do not will be classified as under-12 users.

Comments

But you can increase your daily limit for just $0.99 an hour! Probably not, but it sounds like something Tencent would do. I’m more surprised that Tencent thinks "weakening traditional values" is an argument that people will buy such that they have to do things like this.

The daily limit is most probably something they were coerced by the government to impose, so I doubt that they are even allowed to set a price for it. That said, being a Chinese, I know exactly how bad Tencent is.

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