Briefing: Tencent will protect underage gamers regardless of revenue, says executive

Tencent executive says it will protect minors who play its games regardless of the impact on revenue – SCMP

What happened: Ma Xiaoyi, senior vice-president of Tencent, said the company would “take no account of game revenue in the protection of minors.” Speaking in an interview with Chinese media on Tuesday, Ma drew attention to the fact that minors make up a small portion of the company’s revenue, even for its hit “Honour of Kings.”

Why it’s important: Tencent has lost more than $220 billion in market value as its gaming division’s growth has slowed amid regulatory restructuring. The company has implemented increasingly strict measures to limit game usage among China’s youth. It has rolled out features including real-name verification and facial recognition to impose time limits on underage users. From next year, users of all computer and mobile-based games will be required to verify their identities against police databases. According to Tencent CEO Pony Ma, the time limits have resulted in minors spending 52% less time playing “Honour of Kings” compared to a peak in 2017. As a result of slow gaming growth, the company has announced plans to restructure and increase its focus on enterprises.