Online Gaming In China

Chinese government sets online gaming restrictions for its youth



Person gaming on a computer

Casey Cavanaugh, Staff Writer

    China restricts online video games for youths under 18 years old to 3 hours per week in an attempt to stave off a countrywide video game addiction. 

      China has banned children from playing video games for kids under 18 years old for more than 90 minutes a day on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. All other weekdays (barring statutory holidays) are off-limits for online gaming. The National Press and Publication Administration, (A.K.A the NPPA, a Chinese major media press) said the reason for the crackdown was a kickback to complaints from parents about their children spending too much time online.

      Online gaming limitations and surveillance are not new to China. In 2000, China implemented a ban on the sale, production and import of consoles or arcade machines. This ban kickstarted a PC video game uprising in the country, as the ban did not affect computers or computer games. In July 2007, China required online developers to advertise anti-addiction software in their games as well as introducing the monitoring of playtimes of minors. In 2014, there was a partial lift on the console ban, allowing them to be manufactured by the Shanghai Free Trade System. In 2015 the entirety of the console ban was lifted, allowing an increase in the Chinese video game market.

      China’s President Xi Jingping says parents are complaining to “suffer unspeakably,” due to their children’s gaming addictions.

      “Recently, many parents have reported that some teenagers’ indulging in online games have seriously affected their normal study life,” said Shi Jingnan of Xinhua News Agency. 

     There is no information on when the ban will be lifted and seems to have an indefinite expiration date.