China sets up platform to police gaming firm violations

National & World News

A child wearing a face mask plays game on a smartphone next to his relative in Beijing Sept. 12, 2021. Chinese regulators have set up a platform that allows the public to report on gaming companies they believe are violating restrictions on online game times for children. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese regulators have set up a platform that allows the public to report on gaming companies they believe are violating restrictions on online game times for children.

China’s National Press and Publication Administration set up the platform. It enables holders of Chinese ID cards to report violations and furnish proof, effectively giving the public the power to police gaming firms such as Tencent and NetEase.

This follows China’s decision to impose the time limits of just three hours a week for minors to combat internet games addiction in children. Gaming companies are expected to enforce the limit of 1 hour of online games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. An earlier limit allowed 90 minutes on most days.

Other online platforms exist in China for consumer complaints or the reporting of “illegal and harmful” activities online. But it’s rare for such a site to focus on specific restrictions within an industry.

Parents have again welcomed the new limits. They previously also lauded restrictions that banned children from gaming overnight and limited game time to 90 minutes on weekdays.

Regulators say that gaming companies are responsible for enforcing these restrictions via real-name registration systems, which would enable them to limit game time for minors and the amount of money they can spend in these games.

Regulators summoned gaming firms earlier this month and urged them to safeguard children’s mental and physical health.

The companies were ordered to clean up their game content and ensure it is free of “wrong” values such as violence.

Chinese authorities are seeking to curb influences deemed “unhealthy” for young people, including online gaming and “irrational” celebrity fan culture.

The campaign is part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s push for “national rejuvenation” for a healthier, more powerful nation. The campaign expands government influence over many aspects of life, from the economy and technology to culture, education, religion and society.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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