China clamps down on gaming tech giants

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Issued on: 06/09/2021 – 16:20

China has issued a new rule limiting online gaming time for players under the age of 18. Authorities claim the goal is to tackle gaming addiction among young people, but experts say it reflects Beijing’s fear of losing control over younger generations and is also part of a wider crackdown on big tech. We take a closer look.

China has a new rule for the country’s hundreds of millions of young gamers: no online video games during the school week, and only one hour per day on Fridays, weekends and public holidays. Authorities hope these strict new measures will help curb what it describes as “youth video game addiction”.

This new rule reflects the state’s wider paranoia about losing control over young people. The Communist Party has also taken aim at celebrity culture and entertainment, presenting them as being in contradiction with Chinese values. Paul Haswell, a lawyer specializing in technology in the Asia-Pacific region, tells us more about how Beijing is also moving to crack down on big tech.

Our tech editor Peter O’Brien also explains how a thriving “grey market” is developing as a consequence of these restrictions, as many young people migrate towards alternative unlicensed platforms.

And in Test 24, as children around the world go back to school, we take a look at some devices to help you study more efficiently, such as new flashcards that can be scanned to instantly digitize handwritten notes.

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