Recently Tencent sued more than 20 platforms that had begun leasing or selling accounts of its famous game called ‘Honor of Kings’, which is one of the most popular online games in China and everywhere. The company will implement a facial recognition system to monitor player activity to verify their legal age. Children under 12 will be prohibited from making in-game purchases, and possibly block access to the games. Starting 1 September, Chinese minors can game only an hour daily (only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, between 8 to 9 pm.
The weekly three-hour limit is for all equipments. The video games can be accessed from: pill with personal computer, comfort, cell phone, and others. During public holidays, it is broadcast for one fixed hour. This opens unexpected business for gamers: Rent an adult’s video gaming account to allow younger children to play for longer. According to the government media reports, more than 20 platforms have begun to commercially rent gaming accounts, with prices over $5 for two hours.
This may not be legal
When announcing the ban, the Chinese authorities explained their intent to protect physical and mental health of minors and promote healthy growth. State media described video games as “electronic drugs and mental opium”. As the measure is not for adult players, many take the chance to provide fake accounts to minors for a fee. In China, to create a Tencent gaming account, you need to provide proof of identity in the form of a government identification with their age and User information. The rules from the NPPA or the National Press and Publication Administration regulator come in the heels of a broader Beijing-wide clampdown against China’s tech gurus like the Tencent Holdings and Alibaba Group and. The campaign prevents what state media describes as “savage growth” of few companies which wiped billions of dollars off the shares traded at domestically and abroad.
Xinhua quoted that teenagers were the future of the country, and needed protection. Gaming companies are barred from providing any services to minors besides the stipulated number of hours and must make sure that they have uploaded authentic verification systems, said the regulator, which oversees the country’s video games market. Some users have supported these measures while others say that the drastic the rules were excessive. Others expressed their doubts about how the restrictions could be properly enforced. “They would just use their parents’ credentials, how can someone control that?” asked one.
Gaming Shares Nosedive!
The Chinese games market generates $45.6 billion of revenue in 2021, ahead of the United States. About 63% of Chinese minors play online games often, and 13% under 18, play mobile games for more than two hours a day on working days, according to state media. Gaming companies have been on edge as state media criticized video gaming addiction among the youth signalling a regulatory crackdown. The NPPA regulator plans to increase the intensity and frequency of strict inspections for video gaming companies to make sure that the anti-addiction systems and time limits are adhered to.