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网游宵禁(wǎngyou xiāojìn): Online game curfew

China Daily | Updated: 2017-02-07 07:39

The draft regulation on the online protection of minors, released for public opinions by the cyberspace authorities last month, stipulated an online game curfew for the minors, which has drawn wide public concern.

According to the draft, minors would be forbidden from using online game services from midnight to 8 am every day. Online game service providers would also be required to take effective measures to limit minors' continuous play time and accumulated play time each day.

Statistics show that by the end of December 2016, the number of internet users in China below the age of 19 was about 170 million, which accounts for 23.4 percent of the overall number of internet users in the country. Many of the juveniles are frequent online game players. Some adolescents indulge in cyber games and spend a majority of their time on online playing games, which harms their health and development. It has become a serious social problem that has drawn more and more attention from parents and the public.

Online game curfews have already been applied in some other countries. In 2011, the Republic of Korea approved an amendment to the law which introduced an online game curfew. Germany has stipulated within certain time period, usually from 11 pm to 6 am the next day, online content providers are restricted from providing content that is not suitable for minors.

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