China rolling out even stricter rules for minors playing video games

China rolling out even stricter rules for minors playing video games

China is introducing more stringent rules for children playing video games.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the country's National Press and Publication Administration department is bringing new restrictions into effect that would stop those under the age of 18 from playing games between Monday and Thursday. Between Friday and Sunday, minors would be allowed to play for one hour, between 8pm and 9pm. This concession also applies to public holidays.

These new rules also mandate that all online video games operating in the country will have to connect to an "anti-addiction" system that would be operated by the National Press and Publication Administration.

This is part of the latest wave in a new moral crisis spreading through China, with the government seemingly raising concerns about video game addiction. Earlier in the summer, local publication Economic Information Daily published an article that described the medium as "spiritual opium" and singled out Tencent's mobile MOBA title Honor of Kings as an addictive presence in Chinese society.

In the wake of this, Tencent promised to introduce measures that restrict how much time children can spend playing its games.

In 2019, the Chinese content regulator said that it was taking action against video game addiction, saying that it was a mental health issue.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.