SHANGHAI: Chinese authorities may revise newly drafted online gaming rules, state media reported today, a day after the announcement of the planned curbs triggered a sell-off in major tech stocks.
The draft restrictions published by Beijing’s media regulator yesterday sent shares in tech giants tumbling and wiped tens of billions of dollars off their value, with industry leader Tencent tanking more than 12% in Hong Kong by the close.
“With regard to the concerns and opinions raised by all parties … the state press and publication administration will study them carefully and will further revise and improve them,” state broadcaster CCTV reported today.
Regulators may change the wording of sections of the draft rules that limit games’ ability to encourage daily logins and wallet top-ups, CCTV said.
Beijing first moved against the gaming sector in 2021 as part of a sprawling crackdown on Big Tech, including a strict cap on the amount of time children could spend playing online.
An end to a freeze in gaming licences had raised hopes that the focus on the industry had subsided.
But, in their current form, the draft regulations announced yesterday are aimed at limiting in-game purchases and preventing obsessive gaming behaviour.
They also reiterate a ban on “forbidden online game content … that endangers national unity” and “endangers national security or harms national reputation and interests”.
Pop-ups warning users of “irrational” playing behaviour would also be introduced.