On September 9, shares of Netease and Tencent dipped after Chinese regulators called them and other gaming businesses for an interview. Regulators reminded them of restrictions on game time for children.
China’s authorities reported they would deal with any violations of their rules.
Tencent shares fell by around 6% in afternoon trade in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, NetEase dropped about 8%.
The regulators reminded gaming firms that they need to limit game time for minors under 18. Remarkably rules became public last month. It requires gaming companies to limit the time kids spend playing games. Minors can’t play online games for more than 3 hours per week — and only during specific times and days. As we know, the Chinese government has long been worried about the impact of gaming on the physical and mental health of minors.
The regulators announced that gaming firms should also control their content, including banning illegal content, for instance, pornography.
The government also stated that unfair competition and monopolies should be avoided. Last month, China’s market regulator announced that internet firms should avoid unfair competition and issued draft rules that target such practices.
According to them, companies should also change game designs that get users addicted.
Gaming Firms Are Trying to Comply with The Guidance from Regulators
Meanwhile, gaming companies stated on September 9 that they seek to comply with the guidance from regulators.
Tencent reported that they appreciate the guidance from the regulators. The company also pledged to work hard to comply with all rules relating to youth game addiction and the content regulator.
Meanwhile, NetEase announced that it would strictly follow the rules and instructions over anti-addiction measures for minors in games.
The company says it will deliver more quality games and develop a healthy and responsible gaming environment for minor players. NetEase added that they seek to build and promote a wholesome gaming environment in China.
The Chinese government has been concerned about gaming addiction among minors.
Notably, the industry has already gone through bouts of regulations over the years. As we know, regulators suspended approvals of games three years ago over concerns about kid’s eyesight.
Gaming titans say they will not take a hit from continued restrictions on kids’ playing time. Tencent stated that only a small amount of gaming revenue comes from minors in China. In Q2 of 2021, 2.6% of gross game receipts in China were derived from gamers under 16.