China claims to have overcome youth gambling addiction

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  • A year after the government limited the number of hours young people could play a day, a report co-authored by the nation’s leading gaming industry body claims that China has “solved” the problem of juvenile video game addiction.

China is the largest gaming market in the world, but the sector has been hit by a regulatory crackdown on technology that has resulted in record penalties, protracted investigations, and the suspension of IPOs. State media has dubbed the sector “spiritual opium.”

Since last September, only the hours of 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays during the academic year are permitted for under-18s to play online.

A leading government-affiliated agency, and data supplier CNG, “more than 75% of children play less than three hours a week, and game addiction has been essentially cured.”

186 million Chinese citizens under the age of 18 utilize the internet, and 98% of those aged 9 to 19 use a mobile phone. To prevent children from misrepresenting about their age while registering for online play, players must use their ID card.

“More than 90% of underage game users are covered by the anti-addiction systems adopted by gaming corporations,” it claimed.

However, there have been recent indications that the Chinese government is changing its tone toward the industry.

After stopping new title approvals for nine months up until April, the government has gradually resumed the process.

A drought that threatened Tencent’s position as the top game developer in the world was finally broken last week when the tech giant licensed his first video game in 18 months.

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