On Monday evening, Chinese state television network CCTV reported that a grey industry chain has been formed in which web users can play online games without various restrictions by paying money to rent another game account. In response, Tencent Games called for the introduction of relevant laws and regulations as soon as possible to strictly control account renting and selling actions.
The gaming giant also asserted that account renting and selling seriously undermined the existing real-name registration system and the protection mechanism for minors. So far, Tencent has filed lawsuits or sent letters to more than 20 account trading platforms and several e-commerce platforms to stop related services. In addition, Tencent firmly implemented new regulations introduced by authorities recently aimed at preventing minors from overindulging in online games.
According to the notice released by the National Press and Publication Administration in August, all online game enterprises can now only provide one-hour services to minors from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays. Companies are not allowed to provide online game services to minors in any form at other times.
Despite the new rules, several merchants strongly promoted the service of renting game accounts all day or all night while offering customer service at any time to users. Customers of these businesses are presented with a link for a rental number selection network to choose Honor of Kings, PUBG and other popular online games.
The costs differ for various characters in the game. Users of Honor of Kings can spend about 33 yuan ($5.1) for playing two hours. If they want to play all night or all day, the costs are 95.2 yuan per hour or 224 yuan for a day. The weekly rental fee is even as high as 980 yuan.
Many netizens have complained about the high fees and the difficulty of preventing minors from purchasing adults’ accounts on Taobao.
Minors’ enthusiasm for online games has not seemed to diminish due to the new rules. Last weekend, some players and netizens reported that Honor of Kings had been unable to function properly, there were persistent loading signs appearing in the middle of the game, and that the game could not be continued. Some pointed out that primary school students who have been simmering for a whole week without playing have poured into the platform at once.