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CHINA BRIEF | Local government accuses mobile game and livestreaming companies of lax oversight

The Chinese government has imposed strict regulations to combat game addiction among young people last November.

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An investigation involving 18 gaming and livestreaming companies conducted by the Jiangsu Consumer Council has concluded that major online entertainment providers, including Tencent, NetEase, Douyin, Kuaishou and Bilibili, have failed to strictly comply with Chinese internet regulator’ rules regarding minor protection.

The report, released on April 13, highlights numerous violations including allowing teenagers to buy premium services without price limits, easy-to-bypass name verification systems and online payment security loopholes.

The council said in the report that in the first quarter it received 425 complaints, up 460% from the prior year’s same period, which led to their investigation.

Responsible for settling consumer disputes in Jiangsu, the council filed its report as a set of findings and recommendations, which does not in itself have direct legal consequences for the companies involved.

In November of 2019, the National Press and Publication Administration announced new rules aimed at curbing video game addiction among young people, including banning users younger than 18 from playing games between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. and setting a monthly RMB 200 (USD 28) to RMB 400 (USD 57) cap for in-app purchases, depending on age.

This article is part of KrASIA’s “China Brief” section, where KrASIA’s reporters will provide quick daily updates about the tech ecosystem in China.