China has launched a new website that allows citizens to report companies that violate the new gaming restrictions instituted last month. Children under the age of 18 are limited to just three hours of gaming each week and can only play games during the weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). Enforcement is done through a combination of real-name registration and facial recognition software.
However, enforcement has to be performed by the gaming companies themselves, which leaves a loophole for some to evade the new rules. China has already seen adults selling their game accounts to children in order to circumvent the new rules, leading to a gamer black market.
To combat this black market and to crack down on game companies that don’t enforce the new gaming limits, the Chinese government has launched a new website where citizens can report gaming companies that don’t follow the rules.
As reported by the South China Morning Post, the site is officially called “reporting platform for gaming companies implementation of anti-addition regulations,” and it’s handled by the National Press and Publication Administration (NAPP). People with a Chinese ID and mobile phone number are able to report “irregularities” with games, which fall into three different categories: whether a game has fully implemented real-name registration, whether the game has implemented a one-hour time limit per day, or whether the game stops minors from spending too much money.
We’ve focused a lot on the time limits, but it turns out there’s a monetary limit too. Minors under the age of eight and 16 are only allowed to spend 200 yuan ($30) per month on games, while those between 16 and 18 can spend up to 400 yuan ($60).
All of this is part of China’s crackdown on gaming, which the government justifies due to what it sees as an epidemic of gaming addiction in youths. Part of that crackdown involved a recent halt to online game approvals, as well as directing game makers to stop “worshipping money” and avoid games that glorify “gay love.”