Tencent to curb children's online gaming time

Young players practice the mobile game Arena of Valor, prepared for the battle match held in a shopping mall. Arena of Valor: 5v5 Arena Game, China's most popular mobile game developed by Tencent Inc, which is the world's largest mobile games developer. Image copyright Getty Images

Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings is tightening checks on the age of people playing online games, as China tries to tackle gaming addiction.

Earlier this year, Tencent introduced a registration system for its hugely popular game Honour of Kings.

The system, which checks players' identities and ages against a police database, will apply to all Tencent games by 2019, media reports said.

It will mean children under 12 will only be able to play for an hour a day.

Older children can play for up to two hours, but not during a night time curfew.

Real-name registration

China is the world's largest gaming market, but the authorities are increasingly concerned about addiction and the impact gaming is having on children's eyesight.

Under pressure from local regulators, Tencent introduced restrictions in July 2017 to limit the amount of time children spend playing Honour of Kings.

Earlier this year, the company added a real-name registration system to encourage players to keep to the rules and carried out trials of facial-recognition software.

Tencent, which also operates the Chinese social network WeChat, posted its first profit decline since 2005 this summer.

The drop was blamed on tighter regulation, specifically around the approval of licences that allow companies to make money from new mobile games.

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