Chinese regulatory war against its technology giants is not limited to data. Later opening front in games of chance in 2018, the government is now adding to the constraints faced by the biggest publishers. Tencent is first on the chopping block. The publisher was forced to further reduce playing time Honor kings for persons under 18 years of age for one hour on regular days and two hours on weekends. Rules designed to kill all-powerful censors in the country take effect today, state media reports South China Morning Post.
Previously, playing time in China was limited to 90 minutes a day during the week and three hours a day on weekends and holidays as part of broader rules introduced in 2019. Additional restrictions banned younger players from playing between 10pm and 8am in the morning and limited how much they could spend on downloadable content.
Honor kings is an extremely popular multiplayer martial arts game developed by Tencent’s subsidiary TiMi Studio Group, also known for Call of Duty: Mobile i Pokémon Unite. Since November, the mobile title has had 100 million players. But his success also brought increasing control. In June, Tencent found itself at the center of a lawsuit who accused him of including “inappropriate” content in Honor of kings, including characters with low-cut clothes and historical inaccuracies.
The latest crackdown comes amid growing fears in China over video game addiction. On Tuesday, a state-run newspaper described products produced by the gaming industry as “spiritual opium. The article continues: “No industry or sport should develop at the cost of destroying one generation.”
Therein lies a broader question. China is currently struggling with a generational divide that has led to younger citizens rejecting the competitive lifestyle pressures that have piled up on them. This attitude is encapsulated with “tang ping” or “lying flat, “a philosophy accepted by a growing number of Chinese generations of Z. In short, it denotes those who choose not to work hard, not to buy real estate, and not to marry and have children.
Instead of resolving social grievances, China decides to shift the blame to the gaming industry.
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