Over 200 Chinese games firms commit to self-regulation amid addiction concerns

Over 200 Chinese games firms commit to self-regulation amid addiction concerns

More than 200 companies from China have apparently agreed to self regulate the games industry in the midst of a moral panic in the country over addiction.

That's according to a statement from the region's video games trade body CGIGC – as reported by Reuters – which says that it might even consider using facial recognition to identify players below the age of 18. This was signed by 213 companies, including Tencent and NetEase.

This comes in the wake of government concern over the addictive qualities of video games. Earlier in the year, local publication Economic Information Daily published a piece describing games as "spiritual opium." Industry giant Tencent was singled out in the piece, with the firm quickly saying that it would introduce measures to limit how much time children spent playing games.

In August, the National Press and Publication Administration department brought strict regulations into effect, saying that those below the age of 18 would not be allowed to play games from Monday to Thursday, while between Friday and Sunday they had one hour to play.

Execs from Tencent and NetEase were apparently also summoned to a meeting with industry regulators earlier in September, in which the two companies were told to focus on more than just rising profits.

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.