China’s new gaming rules 4 minors threaten Tencent’s growth #Video_GamesNovember 9, 2019
HONG KONG — China’s new rules aimed at protecting children addicted to video games pose another regulatory quagmire for Tencent Holdings , as the entertainment conglomerate continues to recover from last year’s freeze on gaming approvals and its attempt to diversify operations hits roadblocks.
The regulations, introduced this week by the State Administration of Press and Publications following Beijing’s call to curb excessive gaming, caps the amount minors can spend on gaming for the first time.
While reduced sales from minors will not send a lethal blow to Tencent, “the company will certainly feel the pain in its revenue,” said Cui Chenyu, a senior analyst at global consultancy IHS Markit in Shanghai.
Tencent will report third-quarter earnings on Wednesday.
In addition, playing time is limited to 90 minutes a day, or three hours a day during holidays.
Minors from the ages of 8 to 15 have a limit of 200 yuan a month, and those under 8 are essentially banned from spending on games.
Online gaming contributed nearly 31% of Tencent’s revenue in the April-June quarter.
The new rules come as Tencent, like many other gaming companies in China, finds it increasingly challenging to attract new players.
The number of gamers in the country rose just 5.9% in the first half of 2019 to roughly 640 million, according to Beijing-based research company CNG and the country’s official gaming association.
Tencent’s revenue for this year’s April-June quarter was 88.8 billion yuan, a 21% increase from a year earlier, but below the consensus estimate of 93.4 billion yuan from analysts polled by data provider Refinitiv.
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