China’s under-18s will be restricted to just three hours of online gaming a week under new anti-addiction rules announced on Monday, according to Euro News.
The limits mean children in China will only be able to access online games like Tencent’s smash hit Honour of Kings between 8 and 9 pm local time on Fridays, weekends and holidays. They will not be allowed to play online at all from Monday to Thursday.
The announcement by China’s National Press and Publication Administration regulator comes less than a month after an editorial in a government-aligned newspaper criticised online gaming, leading to a sharp drop in the share prices of major gaming companies including Tencent and NetEase.
The Times previously wrote that with the 2019 restrictions, China wanted to fight video game addiction, “a problem that top officials believe is to blame for a rise in nearsightedness and poor academic performance across a broad swath of society.”
But users of the Chinese social media platform Weibo were surprised at how strict the new policies were, per Reuters, with one comment reading, “This is so fierce that I’m utterly speechless.”