Notice on Preventing Minor's Addiction to Online Games

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To the relevant provincial, autonomous region, or directly governed municipality's bureaus for press and publications, all online gaming companies, and relevant industry organizations:

In recent years, while online video games have satisfied the public's demand for leisure and entertainment and enriched the people's spiritual and cultural lives, a number of of issues worthy of the utmost attention have also emerged, especially phenomenon such as minors addiction to online games, excessive spending, and so forth; causing a negative impact to minors' physical and psychological health and normal study and lifestyles; and there has been a strong societal response. Regulating online gaming services, guiding online gaming companies to truly make social benefits the top priority, effectively curbing minor's addiction to online games and excessive spending, and protecting minors' physical and mental health, is an effective measure for implementing the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping's important instructions on work for youths and for promoting the prosperous, healthy, and orderly development of online gaming. Notice on the relevant work items is hereby given as follows:

I. Implement a real-name registration system for online gaming user accounts. All online gaming users must use valid identification information before they can register gaming accounts. From the date on which this notice takes effect, online gaming companies should establish and implement real-name user registration systems, and must not provide gaming services in any form to new users that have not completed real-name registration. Within 2 months of this notice taking effect, online gaming companies must require that users who already have accounts complete real-name registration, and stop providing gaming services to users that do not complete real-name registration. Real-name registration information that users provide must be appropriately stored and protected by online gaming companies in strict accordance with laws and regulations, and must not be used for other purposes.

Online gaming companies may set up visitor trial modes for their games that at not to exceed 1 hour. In visitor trial modes, users do not need to register their real-names, but cannot add funds or make purchases. Online gaming companies must not provide visitor trial mode more than once within 15 days to users using the same hardware equipment.

II. Strictly control the time and duration of minors' use of online games. Online gaming companies must not provide gaming service to minors in any form between 10:00 P.M. and 8:00 A.M. The amount of time that online gaming companies provide minors with gaming services must not exceed a total of 3 hours per day on legal holidays and 1.5 hours per day on other days.

III. Regulate the provision of payment services to minors. Online gaming companies must employ effective measures to limit minors use of payment services not suited to their capacity for civil acts [legal competence]. Online gaming companies must not provide game payment services to minors who are not yet 8 years old. For all gaming payment services provided by a single online gaming company, the amount added at one time by users between 8 and 16 years old must not exceed 50 RMB [~$7.00 U.S.] and the cumulative amount added each month must not exceed 200 RMB [~$28.50], for users between 16 and 18 years old, the amount added at one time must not exceed 100 RMB [~$14.25] and the cumulative amount added each month must not exceed 400 RMB [~$57.00].

IV. Strengthen industry regulation. All requirements provided for in this Notice above, are mandatory conditions for online game publishing businesses going online. Each region's departments for the administration of publications should truly implement regulatory duties in their region, strictly following the requirements of this Notice to complete efforts on the oversight and management of online gaming companies and their online gaming services in that region. Each region's departments for the administration of publications shall order online gaming companies that fail to carry out the requirements of this Notice to make corrections within a set period of time; and where the circumstances are serious, give punishments in accordance with laws and regulations, up to revocation of relevant permits. Each region's departments for the administration of publications is to coordinate relevant law enforcement bodies to complete regulatory law enforcement efforts.

V. Explore implementing a system of prompts for age-appropriateness. Online gaming companies should make a comprehensive measurement of multiple factors such as the psychological tolerance for game content and functions, the intensity of confrontation, the extent to which confusion might be induced, the extent to which it might lead to dangerous imitation, and the extent of payments and purchases; and explore making notices regarding online games suitability for users of different age ranges, and indicating these in conspicuous positions such as user download, registration, and sign-in pages. Relevant industry organizations should explore implementing specific standards and norms for age-appropriateness prompts, urging online gaming companies to truly implement systems for age-appropriateness prompts. Online gaming companies should pay attention to analyzing the reasons minors become addicted, and promptly make changes to game content, function, or rules that cause addiction.

VI. Actively guide parents, schools, and social forces from all quarters to forcefully perform responsibilities for guardianship and care of minors, strengthening guidance on minors' healthy and reasonable use of online games, helping minors establish correct understandings of online game purchasing and behavioral habits.

VII. 'Minors' as used in this Notice refers to citizens not yet 18 years of age, and 'online gaming companies' includes platforms providing online gaming services.

 

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