Gaming addiction under spotlight in China as regulators tighten control on industry


China’s top country media has warned against videogame dependancy, as regulators vowed to restrict the approval of the latest video games amid issues over youngsters’ fitness.

“Indulging in online video games is a big chance – the complete society have to act to set up a safety internet and wall for youngsters,” the authentic Xinhua News Agency stated in an observation published on Tuesday. “For the kingdom’s destiny, we will in no way allow gaming agencies to hunt for wealth through inducing teenagers to get addicted [to games].”

The article got here after the government published a document final week outlining how China, below the path of Chinese president Xi Jinping, could improve myopia among minors.

A segment in that file stated the State Administration of Press and Publications – a newly formed gaming regulator – will restrict the number of recent online video games, limit the amount of time minors spend on games, and set up an age-suitable reminder gadget for video games.

Game dependancy will no longer handiest make minors forget their studies; however, they also misinform them with incorrect world perspectives that would “bury hidden risks within the society,” in keeping with the Xinhua observation. Citing a survey, it stated that rural children are without problems liable to being hooked on games because they lead simpler social lives.

China’s video games industry wanted “strict manage” even as it has ended up a critical region of the financial system, People’s Daily, the Communist Party mouthpiece, said in a separate commentary published on Sept 4. “What we have to defend in opposition to is addiction, however no longer online games themselves,” it stated.

Those commentaries in China followed the trendy revision made via the World Health Organisation in its ailment category manual, which said that compulsively gambling video games qualify as a mental fitness condition.

The UN employer said classifying so-called gaming disorder as a separate condition will assist governments, households, and fitness care workers more vigilant and organized to perceive the dangers of keeping with a Reuters file in June.

The rising challenge over video games addiction appears to elevate the stakes for many of the industry’s largest organizations running in China, which is estimated via research firm Newzoo to be the sector’s single largest gaming market in phrases of size and revenue.

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China’s gaming industry is struggling with its slowest growth in a decade amid a months-long halt on government approval of the latest games.

In the first half of this year, the domestic video game quarter’s gross revenue rose 5% yr on yr to US$15bil (RM62.15bil) to mark the first unmarried-digit increase since at the least 2009, in step with statistics from Beijing-primarily based researcher CNG.

All video games, even those made available at no cost, might be required to reap a license to get posted in China. The State Administration of Press and Publications – shaped in March as part of a broader government shake-up that strengthens the Communist Party’s manipulate over the enterprise – has not granted licenses to any new games considering March 28.

Amid that regulatory hiatus, Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings published its first earnings decline in 2005 on lower gaming sales. Shares of Tencent, which runs the arena’s largest video games enterprise, have fallen almost 20% to date this yr.

NetEase, the arena’s 6th largest listed video games organization and Tencent’s closest rival in China, additionally published lower-than-expected earnings inside the second area. – South China Morning Post