China rolls out more gaming regulations to fight myopia


China has the most rigorous game approval process of any major market, an extension of broader restrictions on television, newspapers and the internet.

The move comes amid questions over China's plans for regulating the games industry.

Shares of Tencent, which has a market value of around HK$3.25 trillion ($414.12 billion), fell as much as 5.4 percent, leading a slide in Chinese video game companies. Earlier this month it was revealed that licenses for releasing new games had not been approved for months, now it seems new game launches could be severely limited in order to save the eyesight of children.

Chinese authorities will "control the number of new online games, explore an age-appropriate reminder system in line with national conditions, and take measures to limit the use time of minors", the Education Ministry announced in a statement late Thursday. In April previous year, Post Magazine pointed to pressure on children in China to perform academically leading to them spending most of the time indoors studying rather than outside in the sunshine.

"There is something in the idea that games are bad for our eyes: "The American Optometric Association (AOA) calls eye strain caused by devices ", and it can exacerbate existing eye problems even in adults. that, in children, seven or more hours of screen time per week can triple their risk of nearsightedness.

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Shares of Chinese video game companies plunged on Friday after the government unveiled plans to control the number of online games as part of an effort to prevent myopia among children.

The controls are the most recent test for Tencent, China's biggest gaming and online networking firm, which not long ago faulted a stop for new game endorsements for the innovation monster's first quarterly profit fall in nearly 13 years.

This comes as Tencent stock dipped almost 30 percent since January, slashing a total of more than $160 billion in market valuation separately.

Tencent's ADRs fell 7 per cent in United States trading after the Education Ministry's statement, while NetEase Inc., its closest competitor, fell 7.2 per cent. They should also set a time limit, particularly for preschoolers, allowing them to use electronics for non-learning purposes for 15 minutes at a time and no more than 1 hour in total per day. Gaming revenues are the biggest source of income for Tencent.

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