BEIJING Internet game operators in China must
deter young people from playing more than three hours a day to
combat online addiction, according to a circular issued by
eight government departments on Monday.
The number of Internet users in China reached 123 million
in mid-2006, the Xinhua news agency said on Monday, citing
official statistics. About 15 percent -- or 18 million -- are
under the age of 18.
Game companies must develop a system that cancels half a
minor's earned gaming credits if they remain online for more
than three hours a day. If the young person plays for more than
five hours a day all of their credits will be taken away.
Online gamers will also be required to register using their
real names and identity card numbers which will indicate if
they are under the age of 18.
Companies must develop an anti-addiction system by June 15,
fully test it by July 15 and implement it thereafter, according
to the circular.
It was issued by eight government departments, including
the State Press and Publication Administration, the Ministry of
Education and the Ministry of Public Security.