A Chinese state media has called in an article to regulate online gaming. According to Economic Information Daily, many teens are addicted, and mobile games are “spiritual opium”.
Tech companies fell sharply on the stock market after the news was published, fearing that China wants to tackle the game sector. Unfortunately, the article could be a prelude to that.
Economic Information Daily referred, among other things, to the game Honor of Kings from tech company Tencent. The company’s share fell sharply but bounced back after the newspaper removed the link to the article from social media. The article is still in the digital edition of the newspaper.
Tencent’s industry peers also fell on the stock market, such as NetEase, XD and GMGE Technology.
Tencent announced shortly after the article that it would introduce stricter time limits for underage players. Also, children under 12 years old will no longer be able to make purchases in the games. For those younger children, the entire gaming industry should even consider whether they should be able to play online. To this end, Tencent wants a discussion in the sector.
China has been tackling tech companies in all sorts of ways lately. For example, companies must comply with more rules to be able to offer loans, and China is limiting IPOs in the United States. Beijing also went after the tutoring industry.