Tencent updates underage game spending warnings

Tencent Games has updated its warning system for account holders when minors overspend on its platform. The system will send out a warning when underage players are suspected of spending RMB 500 or more per month.

The system, entitled “Underage User Game Spending Reminder” (未成年人遊戲消費提醒, our translation), previously had a threshold of RMB 500 per day. However, this has now been amended to the same amount but over the period of a month.

The previous amount would allow minors to spend up to RMB 15,000 over a 30 day period and could amount to enormous charges for QQ account holders.

The reminder system currently applies to games including Honour of Kings (王者荣耀), League of Legends (英雄联盟), CrossFire (穿越火线:枪战王者), QQ Speed Mobile (QQ飞车手游), Naruto Mobile (火影忍者手游), Miracle Nikki (奇迹暖暖), Dungeon Fighter Online (地下城与勇士). It said it expects to launch the feature on other games in the future.

Gaming addiction has been highlighted as a major problem in China as high profile figures, including those from the country’s top political advisory body. Officials and media have called out gaming companies, including Tencent,  for enfeebling the younger generation. Tencent has often faced scrutiny for its perceived contributions to gaming addiction. It was criticized last year by the state-owned People’s Daily after the company announced playing time limits on Honor of Kings.

The government newspaper called the game “poison,” and said that it expected there to be regulations put in place to curb addiction to social games. China was the first country to declare gaming addiction a “mental disorder,” with parents taking controversial measures to rid their children of the addiction.