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China has solved its youth game addiction problem, the top industry association claims

China has solved the problem of gaming addiction among its youth, according to a report co-authored by the country’s top gaming industry association, in comments likely to be welcomed by the regulation-battered sector. The comment came from a report by the China Game Industry Group Committee, affiliated with the online game publishing regulator, China Game Industry Research Institute and data provider CNG, CNG said on its official WeChat account on Tuesday.

Chinese regulators intervened last September with new rules banning anyone under 18 from playing video games for more than three hours a week, a strict social intervention needed to end a growing addiction to what it had described as “spiritual opium”.

A month later, Chinese state media stated that loopholes allowing minors to circumvent new rules aimed at reducing game play time to three hours per week should be removed to “prevent addiction”.

“On some online trading platforms, there are rental and sales companies for game accounts, users can evade surveillance by renting and buying accounts and playing online games without restrictions. This means that there are still loopholes for teenagers to play online gaming, which is worthy of attention,” commented in the Communist Party’s official newspaper People’s Daily at the time.

The move came as part of a wide-ranging regulatory crackdown on China’s tech sector and was seen as an effort to also tighten control over the games industry, which was hit by a lengthy freeze on title approvals soon after.

CNG said the report showed that more than 75 percent of young players now played games for less than 3 hours a week and praised Chinese game companies for achieving “remarkable results” after establishing systems to curb gaming addiction.

It cited efforts from Tencent Holdings, NetEase, and Perfect World, among others.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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