Chinese tech and entertainment giant Tencent has raised the age cap on its digital lock measure in China to 16.
The publisher first introduced the limited use restrictions to under 13s back in March, in an attempt to line up with the Chinese government’s tougher ethical regulations on the video game business.
The digital lock limits users within its range to only two hours of play a day, requiring parental consent to kick off. These restrictions have been in place in Honor of Kings for years, which introduced age checks and limited sessions back in 2017.
In a Weibo post (in Chinese, and unfortunately unavailable to visitors) this week, Tencent has revealed that these restrictions will now apply to children and teens up to 15 years old, three years above the previous cap.
This isn’t a simple matter of filling in an older date-of-birth for kids, either. Tencent has been public about its use of police-verified age checks across its range of PC and Mobile titles, in an attempt to deal with increasing government scepticism of the games industry.
As China begins to reintroduce new game approvals alongside a lengthy backlog clearing process, it’s worth remembering a large part of the country’s freeze on approvals was due to concerns around growing myopia rates among children and adolescents.