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China mulls criteria for online gaming addiction

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-02-18 01:57

BEIJING - China's culture and Internet authorities have decided to develop China-specific criteria for diagnosing minors' addiction to online gaming.

If cases are assessed based on imported criteria developed for groups with different cultural and social backgrounds, it could result in misdiagnosis, according to a special workplan jointly issued by 15 ministry-level authorities on Sunday.

The plan calls on researchers to develop tools to identify the early stages of potential addiction, so as to enable early intervention for minors.

China's online gaming industry took in revenue worth 24.84 billion yuan ($4 billion) in the first half of 2012.

However, minors' addiction to online gaming has caused serious social problems, which sometimes lead to juvenile crimes, according to an anonymous official with the Ministry of Culture.

Figures from the China Internet Network Information Center show that China's online gaming population was estimated at around 330 million by last June, and approximately 150 million of China's Internet users are believed to be below the age of 19.

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