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Chinese state media calls gaming ‘opium,’ slamming stocks

Chinese state media on Tuesday slammed on-line video games as “spiritual opium,” sending stocks of the nation’s largest online game company tumbling.

Economic Information Daily — a newspaper affiliated with China’s largest state information company, Xinhua — made the provocative comparability in an article through which it stated younger folks in China had been hooked on on-line video games and referred to as for a crackdown on the {industry}.

The story particularly referred to as out “Honor of Kings,” a well-liked on-line recreation created by Tencent, the nation’s largest online game developer.

“‘Spiritual opium’ has grown into an industry worth hundreds of billions,” the newspaper wrote. ”No {industry}, no sport, could be allowed to develop in a method that can destroy a era.”

Shortly after the article was revealed, Tencent shares dipped greater than 10 % in buying and selling earlier than markets opened and had been down 7.4 % early Tuesday afternoon.

Tencent's
Tencent referred to as for an industry-wide ban on gaming for youngsters beneath 12 years outdated.
Barcroft Media by way of Getty Images

The company’s stock has plummeted practically 40 % over the previous six months amid investor fears concerning the Chinese authorities’s broader crackdown on tech, which has additionally slammed corporations like Alibaba and Didi.

Shares of US online game maker Activision Blizzard additionally fell about 5 % Tuesday, though that transfer could have been extra associated to investor considerations concerning the company’s inner turmoil over sexual harassment allegations than entry to the Chinese gaming market.

As Tencent’s shares had been tanking, the company stated it could additional curb minors’ entry to Honor of Kings and referred to as for an industry-wide ban on gaming for youngsters beneath 12 years outdated.

A child plays online game 'Honor of Kings' on July 2, 2017 in Dezhou.
It continues to be comparatively simple for Chinese kids to entry on-line video games as a result of they’ll lie about their age.
Visual China Group by way of Getty Ima

Since 2017, Chinese regulators have pushed to restrict the period of time minors spend enjoying video video games — and corporations together with Tencent have already got anti-addiction techniques that they are saying cap younger customers’ recreation time.

However, it’s nonetheless comparatively simple for youngsters to entry on-line video games as a result of they’ll lie about their age.

Economic Information Daily’s comparability of video video games to opium is especially charged in China, which has a protracted and contentious historical past with the drug.

Visitors are seen at the Tencent Games booth during the China Digital Entertainment Expo and Conference.
Economic Information Daily’s comparability of video video games to opium is especially charged in China, which has a protracted and contentious historical past with the drug.
REUTERS

In the 1800s, British merchants bought opium to China, leading to widespread habit.

When China sought to crack down on the opium commerce, the British navy intervened and compelled the Chinese authorities to cede management of Hong Kong in an 1842 treaty.

With Post wires

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