China’s move to fight video game addiction will hurt Apple and Google in their pocketbooks
If you love playing mobile video games, China is not the place to be. At the end of last month, the country issued new Draconian rules that severely limit the amount of playing time that kids and those under 18 can spend each week playing video games. The new rules announced by China’s National Press and Publication Administration limit video gameplay by those under 18 to one hour per day between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. weekends and legal holidays.
Seeking to stop teen video game addiction in the country, China stops licensing new games for the App Store and Google Play Store
China stops licensing video games temporarily in order to fight teen video game addiction
A publication related to the state ran an article with a headline referring to video games as “opium.” This comment was later removed and the article revised. Niko’s Ahmad says that there are 720 million gamers in China with 110 million under the age of 18. “Gaming addiction has affected studies and normal life…and many parents have become miserable,” the National Press and Publication Administration said in a statement.
While the move is believed to be temporary, one source says that the plan is to keep the new rules in place “for a while.” China is hoping to reduce video game addiction in the country and the state believes that cutting the number of available new games will help it achieve its goal. Another source stated that there were discussions related to delaying the issuance of licenses for video games so that China could undergo “a smooth and successful deployment” of its plans to reduce video game addiction.
A previous licensing ban in China reduced App Store and Play Store revenue
China requires video game developers to have a license issued by the Chinese government. While Android-based app stores like the Google Play Store started checking for the license in 2016, the App Store didn’t require that developers had the license until last year.
Chinese state-run media have not yet disseminated the news about the country’s latest efforts to keep teens away from what the Chinese see as a highly addictive pastime.
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