China “defeated” teenage addiction to video games – with the help of a limit (3 hours per week) and … the TikTok program


Last Saturday, China released a report on the state of the nation’s video game industry, which noted progress in meeting the state-imposed gaming limit (three hours per week) for minors.

A report by the Chinese regulator claims that around 70% of the country’s children now comply with the play time restrictions, and therefore the aim of the measure has been achieved. The document also praises game developers for streamlining their player vetting practices, with game content now avoiding prohibited or “unhealthy” topics.

Another excerpt from the report states that “China’s gaming industry is quite significant at home and abroad, so it’s good to see it aligning and moving in the right direction as it means its prospects are strong.”

Last week, the state-sponsored China Daily also praised the gaming industry, noting that “the technologies used were misconceived as entertainment-only” and have since been used for real-world applications that “benefit China.” And this, in turn, “makes the industry worthy of reassessment and recognition of its exceptional development.”

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This is a significant turn in Beijing’s rhetoric compared to its previous position: “gaming is a spiritual opium that destroys family life and affects children’s school grades.”

The report was released shortly after Chinese regulators approved the release of the batch of games. From mid-2021 to April 2022, the NPPA (National Press and Publication Administration) did not approve any new games for nine months. Since May 2019, the NPPA has typically announced new approved games either in the middle or at the end of each month. As a rule, 80 to 100 games are approved every month – so from the summer of 2021 to the summer of 2022, due to restrictions in China, about half a thousand new games were not released.

The situation affected the Chinese gaming industry. In 2021, thousands of small video game studios and firms have gone out of business. These are companies engaged in the development, publishing, advertising and merchandising of games. Since July 2021, about 14,000 such companies have closed in China. Major companies such as ByteDance, Baidu, and Tanwan Games battled losses by laying off employees in the video game segment. At the same time, local industry leaders such as Tencent Holdings and NetEase have been aggressively expanding into overseas markets.

Chinese boycott of video games: since the end of July, the authorities have not approved new games, about 14,000 game companies have closed in the country

From April 2022, the NPPA issues monthly permits for new games, but still does not do so every month.

The regulator’s report also noted that many children who followed playtime restrictions found another form of entertainment: short online videos, such as those on TikTok. Fortunately, from Beijing’s point of view, ubiquitous censorship means that such videos rarely touch on unapproved topics. Previously, platforms with such videos received a reminder about the appropriate implementation of Chinese values.

Talks about banning TikTok have now resumed in the US amid an agreement to continue its work in the country – a corresponding bill has already been submitted to the Senate. The head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner, warned of the dangers of TikTok, which has more than 138 million active users in the US, calling it a “huge threat”.

Talks about banning TikTok have resumed in the US amid an agreement to continue its work in the country – a ban bill has already been submitted to the Senate

Source: The Register

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