Online game

China’s online gaming sector is booming despite anti-addiction rules

(Yicai Global) Feb. 17 — China’s online gaming industry is still doing well despite tough new rules introduced last year to prevent addiction among underage gamers, according to a new study.

Revenue from the gaming sector jumped 17.8% to 22.2 billion yuan ($3.5 billion) last month from a year earlier, according to data released yesterday by the industry analyst. Gamma Data sector. And this despite strict measures such as real-name authentication and facial recognition restrictions.

Honor of Kings, a top online game developed by Tencent Holdings, still had 165 million active players last month, almost the same as a year ago, the data showed.

For Chinese primary and secondary schools, the winter vacation begins around January 20, 2022 and ends around February 20, and playing games online during this time has long been popular with young gamers.

The National Press and Publications Administration introduced new rules last August amid concerns about rising gambling addiction among minors. At the time, game developers said the rules were “the toughest ever” as they required online gambling operators to limit underage playing time and enforce it through measures such as real name authentication.

Minors are now only allowed to play online games for one hour a day for 14 days of the winter holiday month, according to the 2022 winter holiday online game schedule from major Chinese game developers such than Tencent and NetEase.

But miners still managed to find loopholes in the rules to play games online longer, Yicai Global learned in interviews.

“My classmates all use their parents’ personal information to log in to gaming platforms, allowing them to play games without time restrictions,” a junior high school student told Yicai Global.

Some game providers have applied facial recognition as an additional layer of verification to prevent circumvention of restrictions, but miners have found ways around this. Information on “how to bypass facial recognition” or “how to avoid addiction restrictions” is widely available online, Yicai Global found.

Parents have a responsibility to pay attention to the accounts their children use to play online games, and they must be the last line of defense against addiction, Liao Xuhua, senior entertainment industry analyst at Analysys, told Yicai Global.

Publishers: Tang Shihua, Tom Litting