China says it has ‘solved’ children’s addiction to online games, but attention has shifted to videos

China says it has ‘solved’ children’s addiction to online games, but attention has shifted to videos

China has “basically solved” the problem of online gaming addiction among its youth, according to a new report co-authored by the China Game Industry Group Committee, the country’s governing body.

As early as September 2021, the National Press and Publication Administration, which oversees video game licensing in China, began requiring game companies to ban children from playing games for more than three hours a week. This window is set to 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Fridays, weekends and public holidays.

This March, the Cyberspace Administration of China also released a draft urging companies to improve the rules of the game to prevent addiction and ensure children are not exposed to content that may affect their physical and mental health, according to the Global Times .

The new report, titled 2022 China Game Industry Progress Report on the Protection of Minors, claims that the proportion of minors spending less than three hours a week playing online games has risen to over 75%, all thanks to the anti-addiction policy. The report, co-authored by data provider CNG, also found that anti-addiction schemes put in place by gambling companies covered more than 90% of underage gamblers, according to AFP.

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However, according to the report, all of those lost gaming hours were spent watching videos instead. As it turned out, 65.54% of minors who originally spent their time playing online games switched to short video apps, a 7.81% increase over the previous year.

About 98 percent of 9- to 19-year-olds in China own a cell phone, the report said. Around 186 million Internet users are now under the age of 18.

Beijing has blamed gambling addiction for several problems among teenagers, including myopia, poor concentration, trouble sleeping and mental health problems. But with COVID-19 lockdowns still being enforced and winter fast approaching, Chinese parents have been allowing children access to their accounts to keep them entertained, the BBC reported.

The story goes on

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It remains to be seen how China will progress with its anti-addiction policy. The government has reportedly begun to relax, beginning with approving new titles after the process was frozen for months.

Featured image via CGTN

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