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China plans to set up rehabilitation centres to help young people addicted to gaming

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08 October 2016

The Cyberspace Administration of China has outlined plans on its website on 30 September for setting up rehabilitation centres to help young people addicted to gaming.

If the plans were to go ahead, there would be a ban on gaming between the hours of midnight and 8am.

In order to help young people stop playing games for hours on end, the authorities also plan to impose a limit on the number of hours they played.

Gamers would need to register using their Chinese ID card and the games would be cut off as soon as they hit the limit.

The government has requested feedback on the proposed measures from the public by the end of the month.

Meanwhile, CCTV News, reports that China was now the biggest online gaming market in the world, with the gaming market hitting a revenue of $22 billion (17.6 billion) in 2015.

Many used Chinese social media site Weibo to share their outrage at the plans.

One user wrote, "My parents are also addicted to Wechat. They read a lot of urban myths and bad science. Can anyone deal with internet addiction of the middle aged?"

Another commented, "How do we define internet addiction? We all work in an office in front of the computer for at least eight hours. My younger brother uses a computer at school. Who is the internet addict? Everyone."

With the new regulations, the onus would be on web game developers to block minors from playing online games from midnight to 8am every day.

Commentators point out that this was not the first time that the authorities in China had stepped in to stop younger people from being addicted to online games.

In 2007, all internet game operators were required to install systems to prevent addiction, which included deducting points from young players if they spent more than three hours on a game. Also to ensure that only genuine identities were used in registering to play the games, game operators were required to verify the identity of the users with a database provided by the Ministry of Public Security.





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