Tencent Announces Strict Gaming Restrictions for Under 16s

By Ryan Gandolfo, April 23, 2019

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Tencent isn’t playing around.

On April 22, the tech giant announced a new trial initiative to encourage a more healthy lifestyle for teenagers who are overly dependent on gaming.

The pilot program, called ‘16+,’ will 1) require users to provide their real name when signing in, and only gamers above 16 years old will be given permission to play 2) Any minor above 16 years old will be limited to a maximum of two hours of game time each day to discourage kids from gaming binges all-too-common in China.

According to Tencent, the age requirement for new games will also be raised from 13 to 16 years old, with the company saying users under 16 will have no way of circumventing the new rule.

The latest news comes over a month after the company introduced their child lock feature for minors under 13 in March. The feature allows parents more control over their children’s gaming habits.

Netizens on Weibo largely applauded the continued efforts by the gaming giant to deter kids from wasting their youth on their phones. “This is without a doubt a great start! I love it,” posted one Weibo user, after sharing some of the details of Tencent’s announcement, including how parents will have more of an ability to control how long their child can game.

Meanwhile, others suggested that teenagers may continue gaming with the use of their parents’ or older siblings’ accounts. “Nowadays, a lot of kids use their parents’ phones to play games online, so I don’t really see how this will be effective,” posted another user, seemingly not convinced by the new initiative. Another netizen chimed in to the debate, saying “Hahaha, my brother uses my account to play.”

According to Tech Crunch, the gaming industry in China has been treading rough waters in recent months, as the government has cracked down on illegal gambling via onlines games as well as underage gaming.

READ MORE: Tencent Launches Program to Combat Child Gaming Addiction 

[Cover image via @宵伽-/Weibo]

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