Published: Mon, September 03, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

China set to impose gaming curbs to save children’s eyesight

China set to impose gaming curbs to save children’s eyesight

The Arena of Valor World Cup is just one of many esports efforts supported by Tencent that may be affected by the Chinese Government's new efforts against gaming.

In a statement Chinese regulators said: "Parents should minimize the use of electronic products when they are with their children". The Chinese Government has announced plans to the approval of new games for release and the overall number of games available.

Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s (TCEHY) share price closed down 4.87% in Hong Kong on Friday after China's education authority unveiled new proposals to limit video game releases and the amount of time that young people spend playing online.

Historically, though, the country is restrictive in what entertainment it allows the populace to consume over content concerns more than health issues.

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While the new regulations encompassed everything from encouraging outdoor activities to usage of electronics, investors zeroed in on the game curbs during a highly sensitive time for the industry.

Despite the gloomy regulatory atmosphere in the gaming industry, Tencent has announced a partnership with Square Enix, a Japanese maker of popular video game titles such as Final Fantasy and Tomb Raider.

Tencent has lost more than $160 billion in advertise an incentive from its crest in January, predominantly on administrative vulnerability, and now trails most outstanding adversary Alibaba Group to be Asia's second-greatest recorded company by market capitalisation.

The onus may ultimately fall on the gaming companies themselves: Tencent for instance in 2017 instituted time-limits for minors after state newspapers singled out its signature title, Honour of Kings, for encouraging addiction.

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"[China] will remain the number one gaming market by revenues and by number of players", the Newzoo report stated.

The ministry's announcement also took aim at parents and educators, saying they should reduce the time kids spend on smartphones and tablets and encourage children to play and exercise outside for at least an hour a day.

Tencent's ADRs fell 7 per cent in USA trading after the Education Ministry's statement, while NetEase Inc., its closest competitor, fell 7.2 per cent.

President Xi Jinping has publicly spoken about the need to help children's eyesight. But if a company as powerful as Tencent is taking a hit, it seems reasonable to assume that the Chinese economy could ultimately suffer from the ramifications of these restrictions.

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