China will limit kids to 3 hours per week of online gaming in sweeping new regulation

By Chance Miller

August 30, 2021

The government announcement said all online videogames will be required to connect to an “anti-addiction” system operated by the National Press and Publication Administration. The regulation, which takes effect on Wednesday, will require all users to register using their real names and government-issued identification documents.

Under previous regulations, last updated in 2019, kids were allowed to play up to 90 minutes of online video games per day. The latest revisions to the rules therefore represent a major change to the industry in China.

How exactly these rule changes affect Apple and the App Store remains to be seen. Apple has its Apple Arcade gaming subscription, but it is not available in China. Over the years, it has become increasingly difficult for developers to release games on the App Store in China, thanks to local licensing requirements.

Regardless, this represents a major culture shift for the online gaming industry and China, and as one of the largest platforms in the country, Apple is bound to be affected in some way.