Tencent Further Expands Game Anti-Addiction Coverage, Tests New Facial Recognition System for Underage Users

Tencent announced Friday that it would increase the number of mobile games covered by its updated anti-addiction system to 80 by the end of the month, bringing the company one step closer to implementing anti-addiction features in all of its mobile titles by the first half of 2020.

SEE ALSO: Tencent Rolls Out Updated Anti-Addiction System to 21 More Mobile Titles

In a WeChat post on its official gaming account, Tencent said it would expand the new anti-addiction system to 30 more mobile titles, including the super heavyweight MOBA title “Honor of Kings.” As of May, Tencent’s anti-addiction system has more than 30 million users.

The company has also been testing a new facial recognition system on a small scale to counter the existing methods to circumvent compulsory real-name registration, which was implemented in all Tencent games in 2019.

According to the post, many underage players use their parents’ phones for gaming and could gain access to payment information, resulting in excessive spending in games. The new system would require players who have been flagged as possible underage users to go through facial recognition once they have spent more than RMB 400 in games in a month, regardless of age.

Tencent said it could roll out the facial recognition system to all game players, but would first experiment under the guidelines from regulators.

Tencent is one of the first companies in China to build an anti-addiction system for games. The company has upgraded the system a number of times over the past few years, giving parents and teachers more control over how much time and money underage users can spend on games.

Starting from 2019, Chinese regulators have doubled down on their efforts to control the screen time of users of content platforms and games under 18. In April 2019, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) required all short video platforms to roll out anti-addiction features by the end of May the same year. Just a month later, the CAC also instructed video streaming platforms to implement parental controls by the start of June.