Clarifications on “Notice on Preventing Minors from Addiction to Online Games”

By Todd KuhnsLast Updated on Nov 5, 2019
Clarifications on “Notice on Preventing Minors from Addiction to Online Games”

Release Date: 11-05-2019

Source: Xinhua News Agency, Beijing

Xinhua News Agency, Beijing, November 5th:

The State Press and Publication Administration recently issued the “Notice on Preventing Minors from Addicting to Online Games” (hereinafter referred to as “Notice”). Relevant persons in charge of the State Press and Publication Administration accepted an exclusive interview with reporters on the relevant situation of the Notice.

Question: Please introduce the background and significance of the announcement.

Answer: In recent years, China’s online game industry has developed rapidly. While satisfying the needs of the masses for entertainment and enriching the spiritual and cultural life of the people, some minor issues such as indulging in games and over-consumption have also emerged. These problems affect the physical and mental health of minors and the normal learning life, and are strongly reflected by all sectors of society. In order to actively respond to social concerns and solve outstanding problems in the development of the industry, we conducted relevant research, listened to opinions from many parties, formulated specific measures, and formed this Notice. The “Notice” is guided by Xi Jinping’s thoughts of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, fully embodies the principles of giving priority to social benefits and giving priority to the protection of minors. It puts forward work requirements and specific arrangements to prevent minors from becoming addicted to online games, and clarifies the principles and norms that the online game industry should follow to provide services to minors. On the basis of focusing on solving outstanding problems, the “Notice” emphasizes the strict implementation of corporate corporate responsibilities, fulfills government regulatory responsibilities in accordance with the law, promotes coordinated governance and effective participation of all sectors of society, and forms a common governance and co-governance of government, enterprises and society. The formulation and implementation of the “Notice” is of great significance and practical role in strengthening and improving the management of online games, effectively protecting the physical and mental health of minors, and creating a clean and upright online space.

Q: What are the specific requirements of the Notice? What are the main considerations?

A: The “Notice” has proposed six measures in total. The first is to implement a real-name registration system for online game accounts. At present, real-name registration methods for game users include mobile phone numbers, WeChat signals, and identity information. However, in actual use, many minors use their parents’ mobile phone numbers and WeChat to register game accounts, which makes it difficult for minors to really implement the management system. For this reason, the “Notice” requires strict real-name registration, and all online game users must use valid identity information to register for a game account. The second is to strictly control the duration of minors’ use of online games. It is stipulated that game services shall not be provided for minors from 22:00 to 8:00 the next day, statutory holidays shall not exceed 3 hours per day, and other times shall not exceed 1. 5 hours. The specific standards are mainly proposed from the perspective of reasonable allocation of daily routines for minors. Except for normal sleep, study, meals and sports activities, distinguish between holidays and other times, and limit the length of the game period. This regulation is not only a requirement for online game companies and platforms, but also a guide for guardians to fulfill their minor custody obligations. The third is to regulate the provision of paid services to minors, stipulating that online game companies must not provide game payment services for users under 8 years of age; for game payment services provided by the same online game company, minors over 8 years of age and under 16 years of age Users, the single recharge amount must not exceed 50 yuan, and the monthly recharge amount must not exceed 200 yuan; for minor users over 16 years old, the single recharge amount must not exceed 100 yuan, and the monthly recharge amount must not exceed 400 Yuan. Mainly refer to the distinction between civil capacity in the General Principles of the Civil Law, and the relevant parties ‘sample surveys on parents’ willingness to use their children’s online game spending quotas, and give due consideration to the current actual payment situation of minors. The fourth is to effectively strengthen industry supervision. It is required that for online game companies that have not implemented the requirements of this notice, local publishing management departments shall order correction within a time limit; if the circumstances are serious, they shall be dealt with according to law and regulations until the relevant licenses are revoked. The fifth is to explore and implement the age-appropriate reminder system. With the increasing variety of online game types, there may be problems that are not suitable for minors in terms of themes, content, and gameplay. “Notice” requires online game companies to comprehensively measure from multiple dimensions, explore tips for online games suitable for users of different ages, help minors, parents and teachers to better distinguish online games, and guide minors to better use online games . It should be noted that age-appropriate reminders are not the same as western grading systems, and pornographic, bloody, violent, gambling and other harmful content must not be allowed to exist in adult-oriented games. Sixth, actively guide parents, schools and other social forces to fulfill the responsibility of guardianship and guardianship of minors, and help minors to establish correct online game consumption concepts and behavior habits. Without effective supervision and restraint by guardians and accompanying escort, the implementation of the relevant system will inevitably be greatly reduced.

Question: How to implement the “Notice”?

Answer: One point deployment and nine points implementation. After the “Notice” is issued, the key is to implement it carefully and strictly, to put in place various regulations, and to make the anti-addiction requirements effective. The first is to do a good job in publicity and interpretation. The State Press and Publication Administration will organize discussions, trainings, and other forms to explain and interpret to local press and publication management departments and related enterprises, and organize local units and institutions to carefully study the Notice and accurately grasp the relevant content and requirements. The second is to strengthen supervision and implementation. All localities and units should unify their understanding, strictly implement the requirements of the Notice, and effectively establish and improve relevant working mechanisms. The “Notice” clearly stipulates that each territorial management department shall conscientiously perform its territorial supervision duties, strengthen the supervision and inspection of the implementation, and coordinate relevant law enforcement agencies to do a good job in supervision and law enforcement. The problems in the implementation of the Notice shall be discovered and corrected by the territorial management departments in a timely manner, and the implementation situation shall be reported in a timely manner. The third is to improve the supporting system. Preventing minors from becoming addicted to online games is a complex and systematic project that requires all parties to work together and actively promote and continuously research and improve related practices. At present, relevant parties are stepping up efforts to promote the legislation and revision of the “Minor Protection Law” and “Regulations on the Protection of Minor Networks”. The requirements for preventing minors from becoming addicted to online games are written into laws and regulations to provide specific work. More powerful support. At the same time, the State Press and Publication Administration is docking with the Ministry of Public Security, and is leading the construction of a unified identification system to provide game companies with identification services for game users to accurately verify the identity of minors. We will also gradually improve and enrich the functions of the identification system, and realize the data exchange of cross-platform use of online game time, in order to grasp and restrict the total time of each minor’s use of games across platforms. With the continuous development and change of the forms and services of online game carriers, we will continue to explore innovative system designs, and continue to summarize good experiences and good practices, to make anti-addiction work more effective, and to escort the healthy growth of young people.