Chinese ban

Tencent announces strict gaming limits in China for winter break

By Olivia Richman

|

Jan 18, 2022

Reading time: 2 min

Children in China have been struggling with an abundance of video game restrictions in recent times, and now Chinese gaming giant Tencent has implemented a strict new limit for an upcoming a four-week winter break.

From January 17 to February 15, students in China will get to take a break from school. But children and teens shouldn’t expect to spend all of that time gaming. Tencent has implemented a 14-hour limit for the duration of the break, according to the company’s WeChat account.

“Elementary school kids have had their game time restricted for an entire semester. And now they’re eager to indulge in some gaming fun during their winter break and the upcoming Spring Festival. Guess what? For this winter break, you can only play for a maximum of 14 hours!” Tencent said.

The restrictions are very specific. Not only will children only have 14 hours total to play games during the four weeks, but they can only play Tencent-owned games on certain days of that time period. Some of the slots are set for only one hour. A calendar was provided so kids would know when they were allowed to play games.

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China continues to restrict video game accessibility

China has been cracking down on video games for a while now. Many games are banned from the country due to their content, often related to violence and sexuality. There are also restrictions on how long children can game each day and who can make in-game purchases.

Gaming has already started going down in the country, likely as a result of these new restrictions. A recent report from Tencent revealed that minors only accounted for 0.7% of time spent on domestic games in September 2021 after restrictions were set in place. That is a major decline from the 6.4% figure previously seen in 2020.

The Tencent restriction during the winter break isn’t suprising, but it most definitely will impact Chinese children that love video games. Tencent Games is the world’s second-largest gaming company in terms of revenue, with many popular titles released in China.

There will be a “facial recognition test” every time children want to log into a game. Tencent warned “brothers and sisters” that they were taking a risk if they let a younger sibling play on their account during the winter break, though no specific potential punishments were outlined.

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