Efforts sought to curb minors’ online addiction

BEIJING: Legal experts have called for cyberspace departments to tighten supervision over e-commerce platforms and ban them from selling or renting online video game accounts meant for adults to juveniles to help prevent children from becoming addicted to the internet.
The experts have also suggested game service providers strengthen facial recognition. Their advice came after some children were found to be playing games for longer than they’re allowed by using adult accounts that had been bought or rented to evade identity verification from the game platforms.
For example, a mother in Tianjin complained that her son, a middle school student surnamed Liu, recently used a rented account to play online games late at night, sometimes going to bed after 11 pm, according to a recent report from Legal Daily.
“If accounts are easily obtained from the internet, our country’s measures against addiction to online games among children, such as regulations, will be meaningless,” the paper quoted the mother as saying. In August 2021, the National Press and Publication Administration issued a regulation clarifying that all online video game service providers can only allow minors to play between 8 pm and 9 pm on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
It also ordered game providers to adopt real-name registration of users and take more action to prevent children under 18 from becoming obsessed with online games.
Since then, many providers have set up a system to reduce gaming time for juveniles and are now requiring users to register accounts with real identities, according to a report jointly released by the game division of the China Audio-video and Digital Publishing Association and the China Game Industry Research Institute in November. The report said that the regulation has helped curb online game addiction among children, citing data from Tencent, a large Chinese online game service provider, which noted that online gaming time spent by minors in July 2022 fell 92 percent year-on-year. –The Daily Mail-China Daily news exchange item