China gaming curbs roil stocks, anger teens

China may have united teenage gamers, and stock market investors.

Both have reacted sharply to a move to limit online game time for the under 18s.

Beijing announced the move on Monday (August 30), saying teens would only be allowed three hours per week.

The move intended to strengthen controls over society, which leaders think has become too free and easy.

Young gamers were furious.

Some said the move would derail budding e-sports careers.

One, calling himself Mr. Zhou, said the move would anyway backfire:

"I don't think the new regulation makes any sense. Although it aims to help teenagers, the less you let them play, the more curious they'll be."

Tuesday (August 31) saw gaming stocks take a hit.

There were falls for U.S.-listed NetEase, Japan's Nexon and South Korea's Krafton - maker of online hit Player Unknown's Battlegrounds.

Though Chinese giant Tencent ended the day over 3% higher, after analysts noted it had already introduced limits on gaming by minors.

Investors say the worry for the industry isn't about an immediate hit to revenues.

One told Reuters it's more about whether Beijing could stop approving new games, as it did for a while in 2018.

Another said the curbs could mean fewer teens get the gaming habit, hitting revenues in the long term.

At least some Chinese parents might feel that would be no bad thing.

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