Chinese state media has launched an attack on the computer games industry in the country. The Economic Daily newspaper talked about ‘spiritual opium’ and ‘electronic drugs’.
Tencent, the market leader in China for video games, plunged 11 percent lower on the stock market due to the news.
Investors seem to fear that Beijing will now want to take a stricter look at online entertainment after e-commerce, taxi services and online education. In addition to Tencent, game developers NetEase and XD were also hit on the stock market.
Economic Daily, affiliated with the Xinhua state news agency, quoted a student as saying that his classmates play Tencent’s Honor of Kings game for up to eight hours a day. Internet addiction is common among minors, and video games have a significant impact on their development.
Officially, Chinese young people under the age of eighteen are not allowed to play online games between ten o’clock in the evening and eight o’clock in the morning, but that legislation is being circumvented.
Tencent has already promised to limit additional playing time for minors: one hour a day on weekdays and two hours on holidays and public holidays. It also wants to ban purchases in games under the age of 12.