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Tencent limits the time kids can play their flagship game Honor of Kings

China’s regulatory war against its tech giants is not limited to data. After opening the front on games back in 2018, the government is now tightening the restrictions that major publishers face. Tencent was the first to stand on the block. The publisher was forced to further reduce the playing time by Honor of kings for persons under 18 years old up to one hour on regular days and up to two hours on weekends. Rules designed to pacify the country’s almighty censors take effect today, state media reported. South China Morning Mail

Previously, playing time in China was limited to 90 minutes per day on weekdays and three hours on weekends and holidays as part of broader rules introduced in 2019. Additional restrictions prohibited young players from playing between 10:00 pm and 8:00 am and limited how much they could spend on downloadable content.

Honor of kings is an extremely popular online multiplayer battle arena game developed by TiMi Studio Group, a subsidiary of Tencent, also known for Call of Duty: Mobile and Pokémon Unite… As of November, the mobile app had 100 million players. But his success has also garnered increased attention. In June, Tencent found itself at the center of a lawsuit in which it was accused of including “inappropriate” content in Honor of kings including characters with a low cut and historical inaccuracies.

The latest crackdown comes amid growing concerns in China about the addictive nature of video games. On Tuesday, the state news agency described the products produced by the gaming industry as “spiritual opium… “The article continued:” No industry or sport should develop at the cost of destroying a generation. “

This is the broader problem. China is currently struggling with a generational divide that has caused young citizens to reject the pressure of a competitive lifestyle. This stance is expressed by the expression “tang-ping” or “lying flat, “a philosophy shared by an increasing number of Gen Z Chinese. In a nutshell, it means those who choose not to work hard, buy property, marry, or have children.

Instead of addressing public complaints, China has opted to shift the blame to the gaming industry.

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