Caixin
Aug 30, 2021 08:46 PM
BUSINESS

Chinese Gaming Shares Slump as Minors Limited to Three Hours’ Play Per Week

What’s new: Shares of Chinese gaming giant NetEase Inc. dropped 7% in premarket trading after the National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA) rolled out tough new restrictions on how much time minors can play online.

According to the new guidelines (in Chinese, external source), online gaming platforms are only allowed to let underage players play on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays, from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.

NPPA’s new guidelines reiterate that companies should strictly implement a real-name registration system. “Under no circumstances, can operators offer gaming services to anyone with uncompleted real-name registration,” the document reads.

Bilibili Inc., another Chinese gaming company, plunged 4% in premarket trading.

The background: The issue of minors’ gaming habits has long been of official concern. In November 2019, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television issued similar guidelines. They laid out strict gaming time limits for minors, saying operators should halt services from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.

The newly revised Law on the Protection of Minors, which took effect June 1, also declares that the country will establish a unified minor identity authentication system for online gaming.

Shortly after the authorities’ crackdown on the tutoring industry, investors in gaming companies were spooked by a commentary in a state newspaper early in August criticizing the “spiritual opium” of gaming addiction.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Contact reporter Manyun Zou (manyunzou@caixin.com) and editor Joshua Dummer (joshuadummer@caixin.com)

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