China to limit game time to fight myopia

China is going to limit how long players can play video games. The government says it is doing this with a view to combating myopia, or nearsightedness, in younger players. Earlier it was revealed that China also applies restrictions on releases of games.

China’s Ministry of Education announced its intentions on Thursday, reports The Wall Street Journal, among others. In addition to myopia, the government is also concerned about the school performance of young people who play a lot of games. In addition to restrictions on playing time, the government also wants to enforce age regulations more effectively. Technical details about how these measures will be enforced are not yet available.

The measures have a major impact because China, with almost 1.4 billion inhabitants, is the most populous country in the world and therefore also a large market for games. Chinese tech giant and game publisher Tencent lost about $160 billion in value after the government statements, which is equal to the total value of Netflix, according to Reuters. The company is also experiencing a profit decline for the first time in 13 years, for which it blames the Chinese measures.

In August it was already announced that Monster Hunter: World had been removed from the Chinese market. The same fate threatens PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Shortly after, word came that the country is reportedly suspending the release of all games.