China has announced it will ban those under the age of 16 from streaming online. This is just the latest restriction China’s government has announced to try to control childrens’ interactions with video games and the internet.
The South China Morning Post reported that China’s state council published a new set of national guidelines as part of a 10-year plan for childrens’ development. These guidelines said online services, including livestreaming services, should try to limit how much time and money kids spend online. Livestreaming providers are banned from letting those under age 16 register as livestreamers. These rules will be enforced through a nationwide unified ID system that will manage how minors play games.
This follows other restrictions and comments from China’s government and state-run media that have targeted games and other electronic services.
In early August, state-run Chinese media referred to online games as addictive and called for restrictions to be placed on them, which cut Tencent’s value by almost $60 billion. Later that month China banned minors from playing video games at all during the week, imposing new rules saying they could only play games one hour each on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Before, they could only play games for an hour and a half a day during weekdays. In response, hundreds of Chinese gaming companies pledged to follow the new rules.
Soon after, Tencent and NetEase lost over $60 billion of stock value combined in a single 24-hour period. Tencent told Bloomberg that it agrees with the regulators. “We appreciate the guidance and instruction from the relevant regulators and will work hard to be in full compliance with all rules relating to youth game addiction and content regulation,” the company said in a statement.