Online games

NetEase dips as China limits hours for minors playing online games

By Dhirendra Tripathi – NetEase (NASDAQ: NTES) stock fell 7% in pre-market trading on Monday after Chinese regulators announced new rules limiting the time players under 18 can switch to playing games online amid growing concerns about the impact of games on children.

Users under the age of 18 will be limited to one hour of play on Fridays, weekends and holidays, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Online gaming companies will be banned from providing gaming services to minors outside of these hours and will have to implement measures to enforce the new rules.

In 2019, China introduced rules prohibiting minors from playing online games between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. and limiting the time they could play.

Stricter rules governing the use of online games by children have been expected since a state media report earlier this month called online games “opium for the mind.”

The new rules come amid a widespread Beijing crackdown on Chinese tech giants, including Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) and Tencent, which has scared investors.

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