Tencent announced on March 1 that they will roll out a new anti-addiction strategy for young kids on their mobile phone gaming platform. This new feature of the Shenzhen-based company’s gaming platform will see the introduction of a child lock for kids 13 years and younger.
Parents or guardians will be required to give approval on the platform for kids to play online games. The amount of time that children are allowed to play games each day can also be adjusted through Tencent’s ‘growth guardian platform.’ Currently, children under 12 years old are allowed to play mobile games for a maximum of one hour per day.
While these new rules will allow parents more oversight of their child’s gaming habits, Tencent also hopes that it will ensure that parents have a better understanding of what kinds of games their children are playing.
As of now, the new initiative is in the testing phase, with Beijing, Changchun and Chengdu among the first batch of cities to see these new rules implemented, while it has been reported that the program will later be rolled out through other Chinese cities.
Gaming addiction has long been an issue in China, with the government announcing in August 2018 that they would seek to implement new rules in order to fight the problem. The government also stopped approving licenses for new games from March of last year until the end of January 2019. Stock prices for companies like Tencent fluctuated wildly during this period, putting their increased willingness to abide by anti-addiction rules into perspective.
[Cover image via Unsplash]