The Chinese government has issued regulations limiting under-18s to three hours of videogaming a week, according to announcements made on Monday, Aug. 30. The regulations apply to all electronic devices, and are expected to have a dampening effect on China’s lucrative tech industry.
Actually implementing the regulations will be a steep challenge for Beijing, as millions of Chinese internet users are accustomed to using VPNs and fake identification to get around government controls.
The Chinese authorities worry about the strong hold that gaming has on society, especially the youth, in a country where more than 650 million people — or half the Chinese population — play video games. The gaming industry represents about $40 billion, according to statistica.com.
“Teenagers are the future of our motherland,” a spokesperson from the National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA) stated, according to the state-run Xinhua.
“Protecting the physical and mental health of minors is related to the people’s vital interests, and relates to the cultivation of the younger generation in the era of national rejuvenation.”