China has announced a curfew on online gaming for minors among new measures aimed to keep in check the addiction to video games. The document was issued by China’s General Administration of Press and Publication on Tuesday. The official government guidelines will be applied to all online gaming platforms operating in the country.
Under the new rules, gamers aged under 18 will be banned from playing online games between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. On weekdays, minors can only play for 90 minutes, while they may play up to three hours per day on weekends and public holidays. The guidelines also place restrictions on the amount of money minors can transfer to their online gaming accounts. Gamers aged between eight and 16 years old can only top up 200 yuan per month, while the maximum amount for those between 16 and 18 will be 400 yuan.
The administration is also working with police to set up a real-name registration system, and to enable gaming companies to check the identity of their users against the national database. The new guidelines are China’s latest move in an ongoing campaign to increase regulation of the gaming industry. Addiction to gaming, known officially as Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD), was added to the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases for the first time in June 2018.