As investors weigh the impact on the industry, Chinese young people are breathing new game restrictions

Shanghai, August 31 (Reuters) – Young Chinese players have taken to social media to express their anger over new rules limiting their playing time to just three hours a week, but investors are angry about the long-term impact on the industry.

Officials argue that restrictions are necessary to curb the growth of gambling addiction, and the ruling Communist Party’s official newspaper, the Daily, says the government should be “brutal” because online games harm the normal study life and the physical and mental health of young people.

The ban is part of a broader effort by the technology sector and other industries to promote Beijing’s socialist priorities and strengthen control of society.

But the young players were angry.

“Did this grandparents’ uncles, who make these rules and regulations, ever play games? Do you understand that the best age for electronic sports players is in their teens?” There is a comment on a Chinese Twitter-like Webbo.

You can go to work at 14, 16, but you must be 18 years old to play games. This is really a joke.

Analysts have realized that the long-term growth of the industry has had far-reaching implications, given that children do not earn much money for gaming companies.

“The source of the problem here is not immediate revenue impact,” says Myo Kato, analyst at SmartKarma. The problem is that this practice completely eliminates the habit of playing games at an early age.

He was relieved that the rules were not being followed.

“The industry is really scared if the government stops approving new games as it did in 2018,” he said, citing a nine-month standoff with China over the adoption of new video game titles. Improvement of the regulatory bodies that oversee the sector.

“The new policy is no worse than it could be,” said the investor, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Onus on gaming companies

At Tencent, the world’s largest gaming company, revenues rose to 3% in the first place, with analysts announcing earlier this month that it had imposed restrictions on games for minors.

Craftton Inc. (259960.KS), a South Korean company that earns payments by providing the same gaming services to Tencent for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), has lost 1%.

Nixon (3659.T) and Koi Tekmo (3635.T), listed in Tokyo, joined NetEase (9999.HK) in the US and Hong Kong, losing more than 3%.

The new rules impose restrictions on the gaming industry and do not penalize individual violations. When adult family members enter games using login details, children can often break rules that require them to use their real names and national identification numbers.

“This is a family affair, not a game,” said 17-year-old Luan, who wanted to be known only by her name.

But some parents, like Be Tong, a hotel manager in Beijing with a 14-year-old girl, were moved by the new rules.

“My daughter is on the phone for an hour or two after dinner every day and it is hard for me or her mother to stop,” he said.

We say it’s bad for the eyes and it’s a waste of time, but you don’t listen.

Report by Brenda Dawn; Additional coverage in Hong Kong by Donny Kok, Joyce Lee in Seoul, Tokyo Sam Nuse, Sophie U Beijing, Tom Westbrock Singapore and Shanghai News; Edited by Edwin and Gibbs

Our Standards – Thomson Reuters Principles.


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