Companies that provide online game services to minors will need to comply with these rules and will not be able to offer the games to children outside of those hours. Gaming providers will also be required to have users register with their real names and users will need to be logged in to play. Gaming companies are responsible for ensuring minors are not accessing games outside of the permitted time.
The new rules are meant to safeguard children’s physical and mental health, and the National Press and Public Administration said that the guidelines address “the problem of minors’ excessive use” of online gaming. China previously had a restriction that limited gameplay to 1.5 hours per day, but gaming was allowed on most days.
Tencent, a major gaming provider in China, said that only a small amount of its gaming revenue comes from younger players. The company plans to implement the new requirements, and earlier today, expressed support for the rules.
It’s not clear how these new rules will affect games that operate using the App Store. Apple Arcade is not a factor as it is not offered in China, but there are App Store games that require an online connection.
China in 2016 began requiring mobile gaming developers to officially license their games with the government, and in 2020, pressured Apple to remove App Store games from developers that did not comply. Apple has since pulled tens of thousands of games from the App Store in China.
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