Tencent is deploying a facial recognition “midnight patrol” feature to catch children and teenagers who are pretending to be adults to get around government curfew for underage gamers.

The Chinese government banned online gaming for people under 18 between 10PM and 8AM as part of its measures to fight the damaging effects of too much gaming. When left unchecked, children may suffer worsening eyesight and online gaming addiction. 

Restrictions have been bypassed by many young players through the use of adult-registered gaming accounts. With the implementation of facial verification checks, Tencent is closing the loophole by only allowing users who have adult IDs to play after curfew time.

The company also intends to require users to pass a facial recognition test when making changes to safety settings designed to help parents limit their children’s gaming usage.


Around 60 mobile games will get to use the new features, including over 100 million users of the highly popular multiplayer game, Honor of Kings.

As video games get more popular in China, regulators are scrambling to keep up. Mobile games are blamed for many social ills, including the emergence of online addictions and near-sightedness among children and adults.

Since 2018, the Chinese government has begun enforcing new regulations, including stricter rules for the depiction of violence in virtual worlds and a quota on how many online games can be approved every year.

Source: Channel News Asia

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