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China's Limit on Children's Gaming Time Goes Into Effect

The new crackdown means children can play games on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays, but only between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.

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On Thursday, the Chinese government enacted its mandate that no one under 18 can play more than three hours of video games per week. The Chinese media watchdog the National Press and Public Administration made the announcement in a Monday statement posted by state news agency Xinhua.

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The new crackdown means children can play games on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays, but only between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.

The agency previously set restrictions on Chinese youth’s gaming in 2019, decreeing that children could only play for 90 minutes on weekdays and three hours on weekends. Since then,  online games have required real-name verification and log-in systems. 

Related: How Video Games Can Level Up Kids' Money Skills

Per the NPPA, the new rule is being issued "at the beginning of the new semester, putting forward specific and clear requirements for the anti-addiction work of online games, and vigorously promoting the anti-addiction work to achieve better social effects."

The agency said Monday that the new crackdown comes after “many parents have reported that some teenagers’ indulging in online games has seriously affected their normal study life and physical and mental health, and even caused a series of social problems, causing many parents to suffer unspeakably and become a pain in the hearts of the people.” (These statements have been digitally translated.)

Citing Chinese state media, CBS News reported this week that more than six in 10 Chinese minors play video games online often.