China cuts online video gaming time for children to one hour

31 August 2021, 07:08 | Updated: 31 August 2021, 07:18

The new rule will limit children in China to an hour of online gaming time
The new rule will limit children in China to an hour of online gaming time. Picture: Alamy
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

China has cut the amount of time children can spend playing online video games to one hour on Fridays, weekends and holidays.

The strict new rule will mean anyone under the age of 18 will only be allowed to play between 8pm and 9pm on those days, Beijing's video game regulator said.

State-run news agency Xinhua was told by the National Press and Publication Administration that it had instructed gaming companies to prohibit minors from playing outside this time slot.

Firms will also be subject to increased checks to ensure they are enforcing the policy.

It comes just weeks after a state media outlet described online video games as "spiritual opium".

Read more: China pushes for 'support' in Afghanistan instead of sanctions

Watch: 'China is the existential threat of the 21st century', John Bolton says

Previously, children had been limited to playing online games for 90 minutes per day, rising to three hours on holidays.

Companies will also need to ensure they put real name verification systems in place to ensure children cannot beat the system after it was reported that some were using adult IDs to bypass the previous rules.

The purpose of the new measure is to “effectively protect the physical and mental health of minors”, the regulator said.

It also urged Chinese gaming companies to “always prioritise the social good and actively respond to societal concerns”.

The decision comes amid ongoing concerns in Beijing about the impact of excessive gaming on minors.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Jerry Sadowitz had his second show cancelled by Edinburgh Fringe.

Comedian Jerry Sadowitz's Edinburgh Fringe show axed by venue bosses for 'unacceptable material'

Salman Rushdie has been taken off his ventilator after he was stabbed on stage in New York.

Salman Rushdie off ventilator and able to talk after being stabbed in face and neck 12 times

Rishi Sunak has warned the stabbing of Salman Rushdie should act as a "a wake-up call for the West"

Salman Rushdie stabbing should be a 'wake up call for the West' says Sunak, as he calls for sanctions on Iran

A dog show has come under fire for going ahead in the blistering 35C heat

Dog show slammed for going ahead during 35C heatwave despite RSPCA health warning

Plaid Cymru leader calls for MP Jonathan Edwards to resign after assaulting wife

Plaid Cymru leader calls for MP to 'resign immediately' after receiving police caution for assaulting wife

Firefighters found an unexploded WW2 bomb whilst tackling a huge wildfire sparked by disposable BBQ in Dorset

Firefighters find unexploded WW2 bomb whilst tackling huge blaze sparked by disposable BBQ

JK Rowling has said she is working with the police after receiving a death threat

'You are next': JK Rowling receives death threat after supporting stabbed author Salman Rushdie

Hundreds of households have been without water amid the blistering heat.

Hundreds of households without water as blistering heat set to reach 35C before thunderstorms batter UK

The stage hit festival-goers at the Medusa Festival near Valencia.

One killed and dozens injured after stage at Spanish music festival crashes down in 'strong wind'

Mick Lynch, general secretary of the RMT, has faced criticism for his remarks.

Mick Lynch suggests EU influence and Ukrainians 'playing with Nazi imagery' provoked Russian invasion

Train strikes are set to grind the country to a halt on Saturday.

Major travel disruption across UK as train drivers strike over pay - find out the services affected

Britney Spears still married her husband Sam Asghari despite ex-husband Jason Alexander (right) attempting to "crash" it in an Instagram live.

Britney Spears' ex-husband jailed for trying to crash her wedding to Sam Asghari

Salman Rushdie was attacked on stage. The suspect was named by police as 24-year-old Hadi Matar from New Jersey.

Salman Rushdie on ventilator and may lose eye after being stabbed as man, 24, denies attempted murder

The Mar-a-Lago Estate, owned by Donald Trump, lies at the water's edge in Palm Beach, Florida.

Donald Trump being investigated under Espionage Act, unsealed search warrant reveals

Anne Heche has died a week after the crash in LA

'We have lost a bright light': Hollywood actress Anne Heche dies aged 53 after LA car crash

The incidents took place in Skye and Dornie

Man appears in court charged with Isle of Skye murder and three attempted murders including his wife