China demonizes online gaming: Tencent’s share price falls


A newspaper belonging to the state-run Chinese news agency has heavily criticized online games and portrayed them as harmful to children’s development. As a result, the share price of the leading Chinese technology and games company Tencent fell significantly. Tencent had to announce restrictions for children and teenagers in one of their most popular online games.

The Chinese Economic Information Daily declared on Tuesday in one meanwhile withdrawn articlethat gaming has a negative impact on children. Society needs to recognize the damage caused by online gaming, often referred to as “opium for the mind” and “electronic drugs”. Gambling addiction is a growing problem and it prevents children from learning and promotes alienation.

The newspaper, which belongs to the state news agency Xinhua, is therefore calling for stricter regulation. Gaming platforms should show more social responsibility instead of chasing profits alone. In addition, the sanctions imposed by the supervisory authorities should be stronger, and gambling addiction should be curbed by taking appropriate measures by the gaming companies.

Although the article has since been deleted, Tencent, one of the largest game publishers and technology groups in China, has announced new rules. In the game “Honor of Kings”, which belongs to the genre “Multiplayer Online Battle Arena” (MOBA), more severe restrictions are implemented than the state rules prescribe.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal Play for a maximum of one hour on weekdays, but two hours on weekends and bank holidays. In addition, children under the age of twelve should no longer be able to make purchases in the game. State rules leave loud CTV News 90 minutes of play on weekdays and three hours on weekends and holidays too. Players under the age of 18 are not allowed to play online games between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.

Recently, Tencent introduced a facial recognition system to prevent children from playing late at night or at night. “Honor of Kings” is the first game with these strict rules and at the end of 2020 had over 100 million active players every day. An international version of the game is known as the “Arena of Valor”.

Tencent’s share price fell over ten percent on the Hong Kong stock exchange after the Chinese article became known. The share recovered somewhat in the course of yesterday, however, so that the loss was limited to six percent. That fell to its annual low last week after a Chinese Communist Party leader made video game addiction a top priority for the authorities.

Side effect of the fallen share price is that Tencent is no longer the company with the highest market value in Asia is. According to the Taiwan News now the Taiwanese chip manufacturer TSMC, the price of which has recently risen by less than one percent.


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