Recently, Financial Times posted an article titled: “Gaming crackdown threatens China’s esports dominance, warn players”. In the article, it says that Beijing introduced gaming regulations last week that limited players under 18 to only three hours of online games per week.
The article astutely points out that the limitation is going to blunt China’s professional eSports teams because they will have less time to play games than their competition from other countries (such as the United States, South Korea, and Europe). According to Financial Times, eSports is big business in China and widely popular.
The Financial Times also reported that China is set to host esports first appearance as a medal event in at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou. They have set up a stadium dedicated entirely to competitive video gaming in Chongqing with more than 7,000 seats.
In August of 2021, South China Morning Post reported that that gamers in China who are under the age of 18 would have their playing time limited to one hour on regular days and two hours on public holidays, which was announced by Tencent.
It appeared to be a response to a game called Honour of Kings, (created by Tencent) which was the first video game in the world, on any platform, to average more than 100 million users a day. Teens will also be prohibited from playing the game between 10pm and 8am.
On August 30, 2021, BBC reported that Tencent announced it was rolling out facial recognition to stop children playing between 10pm and 8am. According to BBC, the move followed fears that children were using adult ID’s to circumvent rules.
Personally, I can’t see how eSports players in China are going to be able to compete against players from other countries – who don’t have the limitations that China imposed upon young gamers. To me, the severe limitations on gameplay is going to stifle China’s eSports players.