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Online gaming law set to take effect in China

By Andreena Narayan, CNN
  • The law aims to protect children from internet addiction
  • Gamers will be required to register for games using their legal names
  • Minors will be restricted on the amount of time they spend playing online games

Beijing, China (CNN) -- China's first law to be initiated against the vastly growing online gaming industry is set to take effect Sunday, state-run media reported.

The law has been introduced to protect children from internet addiction and inappropriate content. The action comes following the deaths of numerous children at rehabilitation centers for internet-addicted youths last year.

The regulation, which was originally issued by the Ministry of Culture in June, states that online games targeting minors must be free of all content leading to the imitation of behavior that violates social morals and the law, according to China's official Xinhua News Agency.

Under the new law, gamers will be required to register using their legal names before participating in online games. In turn, online gaming developers will be required to set restrictions that limit the amount of time minors spend playing such games.

According to data acquired by Xinhua from the China Internet Network Information Center, the online population in the country reached a total of 420 million in June.

The market value of the online gaming industry in China in 2009 increased by roughly 40 percent, the equivalent of U.S. $3.8 billion.