Gamers in China find loopholes in law that limits minors' online gaming time

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – Gamers in China are exploiting loopholes in the latest regulation that limits the number of hours minors spend playing online games, reports say.

Following an amendment to the Law on the Protection of Minors, the National Press and Publication Administration recently issued a notice saying online game companies should provide services to minors only from 8pm to 9pm on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and statutory holidays.

However, an investigation by China Central Television has found that some people are selling or renting out accounts registered in the name of adults to minors.

CCTV said on Tuesday (Sept 7) that a minor played King of Glory for two hours after shelling out 33 yuan (S$6.87). The report was trending on Sina Weibo all day.

Cases of children logging in to game portals using their grandparents’ accounts have also been reported. Some kids even make their grandparents look into the camera to pass the facial recognition check.

What’s more worrisome, according to the CCTV report, is that an entire illegal network has been set up to help minors bypass the checks.

These violations show online game companies are not doing enough to follow the regulation, because more frequent logins and longer hours of engagement mean more profits for them.

On Wednesday, officials of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and several other departments reminded key game platforms such as Tencent and that they should strictly abide by the rules.

The companies should update their systems to ensure minors cannot log in to a game platform in the absence of a parent.

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