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China cuts out gaming time to take care of kids’ eyesight

Young players compete in a battle match of the mobile game

China is addressing the rising problem of myopia in its children — by cutting games.

Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images

China is cutting games and screen time citing concerns about myopia in children.

A new plan to curb video game releases and play time was unveiled in a statement on the education ministry’s website Thursday after Chinese president Xi Jinping called for greater attention on the problem of near-sightedness in children. Seven other ministries also endorsed the move.

As part of the new plan, authorities will regulate and control the number of games online and new titles, as well as explore an age-appropriate reminder system and take actions that limit playtime for children.

The news comes just weeks after Monster Hunter: World was removed from China’s internet giant Tencent’s Steam-like platform less than a week after launch, triggering speculations of “bureaucratic infighting” that affected the approval of new online game licenses. Tencent previously implemented a limit on playtime for children, prompted by parents’ and teachers’ concerns about gaming addiction.

China’s education ministry also recommended cutting down on the amount of homework given to children during vacation as well as those requiring them to use an electronic device.

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