In a huge blow to the world’s biggest mobile gaming market, China has placed a three-hour-a-week cap on the amount of time users under the age of 18 can play video games, reports Caixin. The move comes amid Beijing’s continued and wide-ranging crackdown on the country’s tech companies.
According to new guidelines from the National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA), online gaming platforms can allow users under the age of 18 to play only from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, and never during the school week.
The stringent limits on youth gaming time will reduce video gaming companies’ user activity and income, though they maintain that minors account for only a small portion of their revenue. Shares of Chinese gaming stocks plunged Monday in the United States with NetEase falling 3.4%, Bilibili dropping 1.59%, and Tencent down 1.1%.
China is the world’s largest video game market, according to PwC. In a report published last week, the consultancy estimated that the industry will generate revenue of $359 billion this year and $437 billion by 2025.