Tencent & NetEase among 213 Chinese companies pledging to adhere to strict new gaming laws

China's latest crackdown on games includes targeting content that supports 'money worship' and 'effeminacy' and includes facial recognition for enforcement.


China’s government has always been tough on its gaming industry, but its efforts this year, and particularly this last season, may be its most intense yet. Combatting gaming addiction in young audiences has long been an angle of the Chinese Communist Party, but more recently, the government has demanded game developers limit content such as “money worship” and “effeminacy.” What’s more, it’s leaning into implementation of facial recognition technology to enforce it. As these demands have rolled out, over 200 Chinese developers, including Tencent and NetEase, have signed a pledge to uphold the Chinese government’s authority on gaming.

This combined pledge was signed in an online statement from around 213 Chinese gaming companies in the CGIGC, which is a state-backed game developer’s association in the country. According to the statement, every one of the listed companies will adhere to the demands and recommendations recently put forth by the government in its strictest push on gaming regulation yet. That includes meeting restrictions that include the removal of “obscene and violent content and those breeding unhealthy tendencies, such as money-worship and effeminacy.”

The Chinese government's regulations have gone from trying to combat game addition in children to banning certain types of content that promote "unhealthy tendencies."
The Chinese government's regulations have gone from trying to combat game addition in children to banning certain types of content that promote "unhealthy tendencies."

It should come as no surprise that a great deal of China’s gaming companies have signaled their intention to adhere to the strict new regulations being set forth by the government. Failing to meet government demands and regulation has led companies to face penalties such as a barring on business in the country or worse, such as in the case of rideshare app company Didi Chuxing.

Even so, a part of the intensity going into these new strict regulations includes the implantation of facial recognition technology. China has already regulated real name use in user names in the past, but this new facial recognition push is a further effort to recognize when minors might try to play and lock them out of operations on their devices (in addition to the litany of other monitoring means this technology presents). Nonetheless, Chinese companies have little choice but to play by the government’s rules. It will remain to be seen if the regulation stops here. Stay tuned as we continue to monitor the matter for updates and details.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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