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Children and young gamers in China rent adult accounts to play video games due to new restrictions

Renting your video game account to a young gamer seems like a lucrative and harmless business, but those who bypass the new restrictions imposed in China already have legal problems.

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This article was translated from our Spanish edition. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

On September 1, the new restrictions of the Chinese government came into force, prohibiting children and adolescents from playing video games for more than three hours a week . Given this, young gamers have chosen to rent other people's accounts to have access to their video games for more hours.

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Starting this month, Chinese minors can only play for one hour a day , and only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays , from 8 to 9 at night . The measure applies to all devices from which a video game can be accessed: console , smartphone , tablet and PC , among others. On public holidays, an extra hour can be played at the same time, according to a statement from the National Press and Publications Administration of China.

This has opened an unexpected business in the gamer world: the rental of video game accounts so that the youngest can play longer. According to the Chinese media People's Daily , more than twenty commercial platforms began to rent video game accounts for prices starting at $ 5 for two hours .

A great deal ... that might not be legal

The aim of the Chinese authorities is to "effectively protect the mental and physical health" and the "healthy growth" of minors, they explained when announcing the ban. In addition, official media described video games as "spiritual opium" and "electronic drug."

Since the measure does not apply to adult players, many of them have taken the opportunity to offer their accounts to underage gamers in exchange for a fee.

In China, to create a video game account in Tentcent it is required to show a government identification to verify the real name and age of the users, among other information. Therefore, minors affected by the new rule cannot simply create another account, pretending to be adults, to bypass the restrictions.

Although it may sound like a good deal, renting video game accounts is an affront to the restrictions imposed by the Chinese government. For now, these measures are not laws, but if they were, the authorities could classify the practice as fraud or identity theft.

On Monday, Tencent sued more than 20 platforms that leased or sold accounts of its famous title 'Honor of Kings' , one of the most popular online games in China and the world.

The company will also seek to implement a facial recognition system to monitor the activity of the players and check if they are of legal age. In addition, it plans to prohibit children under 12 from making in-game purchases, and even contemplate the possibility of completely blocking their access to the games.