China cuts gaming hours for minors

Business | Tereza Cai and Bloomberg 6 Nov 2019

China introduced stricter regulation on video gaming yesterday with minors receiving a playtime restriction of up to 1.5 hours per day, as social media and gaming giant Tencent's (0700) share price rose 1.65 percent to HK$333.

The new initiative prohibited operators providing game services to minors from the hours of 10pm to 8am and limited gaming time to a maximum of 3 hours per day during holidays, and 1.5 hours on working days a move which has also been adopted in South Korea.

At the same time, the Chinese government restricted online game operators from offering fee-based services to children below the age of eight. Users aged between eight and 16 were also restricted from buying more than 50 yuan worth in a single transaction, with the aggregated recharge being set at a maximum of 400 yuan (HK$448) per month, according to the new regulation.

Separately, Bain Capital, CVC Capital Partners and KKR & Co are among bidders for Hong Kong-based game developer Leyou Technologies Holdings, a source told Bloomberg.

The buyout firms are selected to participate in the second round of bids, the source added, asking not to be identified as the matter is private. The firms also discussing potential financing options with investment banks, as Leyou attracted interest from other gaming companies, they said.

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