SHANGHAI, (Reuters) – Chinese regulators should strengthen the vetting of online games and have “zero tolerance” toward those that distort history, state broadcaster China National Radio (CNR) said in commentary on its website.
The remarks – the latest in a series of critical articles in Chinese state media – are likely to exacerbate fears that the video game industry will be next in line to face regulatory action from domestic authorities.
One article which went viral this month called online games “spiritual opium”, adding that children were becoming addicted and urging greater curbs. It sent shares in Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK) and other video game companies skidding.
Tencent soon after announced it was introducing new limits on kids’ time spent on “Honor of Kings”, its most popular game.
A separate article said tax breaks for the industry should be scrapped.
CNR said games that distort history could misguide young people and cited one example of a game in which Yue Fei, a Chinese general and national hero in the Song Dynasty, was depicted as a capitulator.
Chinese regulators have clamped down on a range of sectors from property to tech to private tutoring, tearing into regulatory norms to promote socialist values and rein in what critics have called reckless capitalist expansion.