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China will allow kids to play online games 3 hours a week

China will only allow kids and teenagers below 18 to play online video games three hours per week. China’s National Press and Publication Administration published these new rules on Monday.

This move seemed a fresh punch to China’s gaming giants, including Tencent and NetEase.

These companies previously have dealt with some regulation changes this year in sectors like anti-monopoly and data protection. That has alarmed investors and sank the value of tech stocks in China.

According to a report about the new rules, China will allow teenagers and kids under 18 to play video games only one hour per day on weekends and legal holidays. The agency announced the regulations as a way to safeguard children’s mental and physical health.

These regulations will apply to online game provider companies to children, restricting their ability to serve minors outside of assigned hours. China will also limit these companies from providing services to users without registering their real names.

The current rules from the NPPA significantly decrease the number of times children can play online games.

Before, according to the 2019 rules, children under 18 could only play games for one and a half hours per day.

In China, there are more than 100 million children playing video games today. Senior analyst Daniel Ahmad said that they expect the new restrictions to drop the number of players and reduce the amount of time and money spent on video games by children under 18.

However, he added that they do not expect the drop in spending to impact the game companies powerfully. Therefore, they expect a lighter impact on growth rates as spending among children was already low.

Tencent said before that only a small amount of gaming revenue comes from minors in China.

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