Tencent to put new checks on hit game amid govt crackdown

Tencent Holdings, China’s largest gaming and social media company, said it will introduce a real name-based registration system for its popular Honor of Kings game to identify underaged players, amid a government campaign to tackle addiction into games.

Tencent said the system, to be introduced around September 15, would be linked to China’s public security database and would be the first of its kind in the Chinese gaming industry, according to a statement that Tencent Games posted on its official WeChat account on Thursday.

The system will be able to accurately identify underaged players and impose the relevant play time restrictions it had previously announced, read the statement.

“Through these measures, Tencent hopes to continue to better guide underaged players to game sensibly,” it said.

Honor of Kings, a fantasy multiplayer role-playing battle game, is the top-grossing mobile game in China.

Tencent plans to expand the requirement to its other games in the future, it noted.

Shares of Hong Kong-listed Tencent slid 3.14 percent at Thursday’s closing.

The news came a week after China intensified a crackdown on online gaming, citing rising levels of myopia, heightening regulatory risks for companies in the world’s biggest gaming market.

In 2017, the People’s Daily, the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China, described Honor of Kings as poison and called for tighter regulatory controls of online games.

The impact of online games on the country’s youth has attracted scrutiny and recently governments at all levels have sought to implement effective methods to prevent and treat the high incidence of myopia.



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