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  • Chris Bratton - Tech Journalist

China's crackdown on big tech roundup: Achieving a higher social standard

Tech powerhouse China has an immersive library of future trends and adaptation of current technology of its own. From online gaming to product manufacturing and even social media, lives in a controlled environment.

A few days ago, we saw China cracking down on big tech like ride-sharing platform Didi, rules adapted to their measures for social media and even search engine Google. The private tutoring sector also took a considerable blow recently, which is a multi-billion dollar industry.

One of the largest companies, Tencent, had shares fall off by a significant margin that was not seen before. The curves were always going up, but suddenly the ruling of online gaming limitation and act on young people's potential caused shares to fall.

New rules passed to limit online gaming for people under 18, who can now game only an hour each day, and on Sunday, it's from 8 pm to 9 pm. The bomb fell with much controversy as many young gamers may suffer in the short term but benefit later on with their career.

To avoid it becoming a hostile takeover, the country is taking baby steps towards the matter. In previous times, young people used to take adult IDs to go into cafes where their age requirements didn't match. In today's time where people are not bound to cafes anymore. They can play games at home or on mobile. Even with government restrictions, young people use virtual private networks (VPNs) to bypass the limits and even while signing in is mandatory, they use fake information from the web. With government blockings and company restrictions, the chance of going with the ruling is significant. That's why they are onto drastic measures so that it be tackled successfully. Tech titans in China are answering Beijing's call to take social responsibility nevertheless.

Minors who are unaware of the health issues or do not concern themselves with lost time fall into the ruling for their behaviour accordingly. The National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA) unlocks a new regulatory body with big game titles that took approval previously.

The directive playtime is criticised in many places though NPPA is handling the matter swiftly. Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) analyses countries' internet, and as the top watchdog of the government, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is watching the matter mutually.

According to TechCrunch, Tencent showed their Q2 earnings fall as 2.6 per cent of the gamers are Chinese recipients under 12 years old, which counts for 0.3 per cent of gamers.

The Supreme People's Court of China declared a "996" schedule of 12 hours of regulatory work time starting from 9 am to 9 pm. This movement started worker resistance against tech, and as a result, we see GitHub project listing with companies that especially mentions "996" regulation.

This week, Alibaba and Tencent pledged to invest $100 billion, supporting the shared prosperity of funds followed by government regulations. The funding will help "enough", and sound tech is involved in the economy in rural parts of the country and helping the healthcare system. The regulations are pretty straightforward as they are seemingly trying to limit young people's habits online and be more productive. Other countries may follow even if those gaming companies do not give regulations outside their boundary.

Tangible impacts are bound to happen nevertheless, as ride-sharing platform Didi, e-commerce giant Alibaba and rival company set unions for their staffs, safeguarding employee rights and protecting young people's potential for the future. The move is bold, and what comes later is yet to be seen.

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