The Chinese government is reportedly trialling a new website that encourages the public to rat out gaming companies that don't comply with its draconian new restrictions on videogames.
Chinese residents with a valid ID and phone number will be able to report gaming companies that don't implement three hour weekly time limits for gamers under 18, real name registration, or curbs on spending money on games.
It will force gaming companies to enforce a limit of one hour of gaming on Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 8pm and 9pm.
It could see gaming companies like Tencent fall foul of the Communist Party, which last week decided to indefinitely halt the licensing process for new videogames in China as it attempts to tackle gaming addiction in the under-18s.
This comes after a decision to ban under 18s from playing online games for more than three hours per week. The new rules also prevent 16-18 year old gamers from spending more than 400 yuan per month on online games – around £44. Gaming companies are already forced to play a role in censoring content that authorities consider the 'wrong set of values', including 'gay love' and 'worshipping money'.
After the ban passed, state-backed newspaper – Economic Information Daily – wrote that "no industry, no sport, can be allowed to develop in a way that will destroy a generation." President Xi Jinping himself said in March that teenage addiction to videogaming was a social problem in need of addressing.
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China has the world's largest videogames market, with over 665 million players contributing to a billion dollar industry. Esports are also wildly popular, with competitive gaming set to be one of the official events at the 2022 Asian Games next year.
However, gaming addiction among kids and teens is admittedly a real problem, with some gamers spending upwards of eight hours per day on games like Honor of Kings and Clash of Clans.
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