China is putting into place new online gaming restrictions on children and teens under 18 years old, which will restrict them to playing online games for one hour per day (8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.) on weekends and holidays. No weekday gaming is allowed.
CNBC reports that companies that provide online gaming services to minors will be forced to comply with the new rules and will not be allowed to offer the games to youngsters outside of those hours. Users will also be required to register with their real names and users will be required to log in to play. The onus of ensuring that minors only play during the designated times will fall upon the gaming firms.
The new rules were published Monday by China’s National Press and Publication Administration. The agency billed the rules as a way to safeguard children’s physical and mental health. The new guidelines address “the problem of minors’ excessive use” of online gaming.
The new rules from the NPPA significantly reduce the amount of time minors are allowed to play online games. Under 2019 rules, people under 18 were allowed to play games for 1½ hours a day on most days.
Chinese gaming provider Tencent said that only a small amount of its gaming revenue comes from younger players. The company plans to put the new requirements in place, and earlier today, expressed support for the rules.
The new rules will not affect Apple Arcade, as the gaming service is not available in China. However, App Store game developers of games that require an online connection will need to adapt to the rules.