Following a scathing article that was published by the Chinese state owned Economic Information Daily; several gaming companies’ stocks had taken a hit. Amongst the worst hit were Tencent, Bilibili and NetEase. The article took a hit at the video games industry and compared gaming to opium. Publishing the interviews of several experts, the article listed several ill-effects of gaming on children.
The outrage that followed the article was immense and the companies faced severe backlash. However, as reported on Tuesday, Tencent’s stocks fell by almost 11% by the time the Hong Kong market closed. It has now been reported that the company has announced that it will limit the gaming time for children.
Tencent’s decision to limit gaming time comes on the heels of another news article, which called Honor of Kings, one of their most popular games highly addictive to children. The article published by Economic Information Daily, called the games “spiritual opium” and stated that the industry which is worth billions should not be allowed to grow at the cost of “destroying an entire generation”. The article has since been removed; however the damage was already done.
Tencent to Limit Gaming Time for Children
Tencent in its announcement stated that it will limit the gaming time for children to one hour a day and two for holidays. Furthermore, they announced that children below twelve years of age will be prohibited from making any kind of in-game purchases. Despite the Chinese laws clearly stating that anyone below the age of eighteen can play online games for only one and half hours every day and for three hours during the holiday, children have been playing games for far longer. According to the children interviewed for the article, they often played the games for eight or more hours at a stretch.
It is unclear whether the company’s decision came in the aftermath of this article or out of concern. However, it can only be hoped that these changes can bring about a positive impact for the young minds.