Notice On Preventing Minors From Addiction to Online Games

By Todd KuhnsLast Updated on Oct 25, 2019
Notice On Preventing Minors From Addiction to Online Games

Release Date: 10-25-2019

Source: SAPPRFT Government Website

Provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities, press and publication bureaus, online game companies, and related industry organizations:

In recent years, while meeting the needs of the masses for recreation and entertainment, and enriching the spiritual and cultural life of the people, there have also been some issues that deserve high attention, especially the phenomenon of minors indulging in online games and excessive consumption. It has a negative impact on their normal study and life, and has a strong social response. Regulating online game services and guiding online game companies to put social benefits first, effectively curbing minors’ indulgence in online games, excessive consumption and other behaviors, and protecting the physical and mental health of minors are important elements for the implementation of General Secretary Jinping ’s work on youth spirit, leading to measures which promote the healthy and orderly development of online games. The relevant work matters are hereby notified as follows:

1. Implement a real-name registration system for online game user accounts. All online game users must use valid identity information to register for a game account. As of the effective date of this notice, online game companies shall establish and implement a real-name registration system for users, and shall not provide game services to new users who are not registered by real name in any form. Within two months from the effective date of this notice, online game companies must require all existing users to complete real-name registration, and stop providing game services to users who have not completed real-name registration. For real-name registration information provided by users, online game companies must properly store and protect them in strict accordance with relevant laws and regulations, and may not use them for other purposes.

Online game companies can set up a “trial mode” for their game services that does not exceed one hour. Under the trial mode, users do not need to register by real name, and cannot be allowed to recharge and pay for play. For users using the same hardware device, online game companies must wait 15 days before providing the trial mode option again.

2. Strictly control the period and duration of the use of online games by minors. Every day from 22:00 to 8:00 the next day, online game companies shall not provide game services to minors in any form. The length of online gaming companies providing game services to minors shall not exceed 3 hours per day on statutory holidays and 1.5 hours per day on other days.

3. Standardize the provision of paid services to minors. Online game companies must take effective measures to restrict minors from using paid services that are incompatible with their civil capacity. Online game companies may not provide game payment services for users under the age of 8. For game payment services provided by the same online game company, users who are over 8 years old and under 16 years old can only recharge their accounts up to 50 yuan per time, and the total monthly recharge amount cannot exceed 200 yuan; For those who are over 16 years old and under 18 years old, the single recharge amount must not exceed 100 yuan, and the monthly recharge amount must not exceed 400 yuan.

4. Strengthen industry supervision. The foregoing requirements of this notice are all necessary conditions for online game publishing and operation of online games. The local publishing management departments shall earnestly perform their territorial supervision duties and strictly supervise and manage the territorial online game companies and their online game services in accordance with the requirements of this notice. For online game companies that have not implemented the requirements of this notice, local publishing management departments shall order correction and set a deadline. If the circumstances are serious, they shall be dealt with according to law and regulations until the relevant licenses are revoked. The local publishing management departments should coordinate with the relevant law enforcement agencies to do a good job of supervision and law enforcement.

5. Explore and implement an age-appropriate reminder system. Online game companies should comprehensively measure the psychological effects of game content and functions, the degree of confrontation, the degree of possible cognitive confusion, the degree of dangerous imitation, and the degree of paid consumption, to improve the appropriateness of online games published on the Internet. Recommended user age-ranges should be clearly marked on the user download, registration, login page, etc. Relevant industry organizations should explore and implement specific standards for age-appropriate reminders, and urge online game companies to implement an age-appropriate reminder system. Online game companies should focus on analyzing the causes of minor addiction, and modify the content, functions or rules of an excessively addictive game in a timely manner.

6. Actively guide parents, schools and other social forces to fulfill the responsibility of guardianship and guardianship of minors; strengthen the teaching of healthy and rational use of online games to minors; and help minors establish correct online game consumption concepts and behavior habits.

7. Minors referred to in this notice refer to citizens under the age of 18, and the online game companies include platforms that provide online game services.

This notice comes into effect on November 1, 2019.

National Press and Publication Administration

  October 25, 2019