Tencent shares plummet after publication of article calling video games “spiritual opium”

Published:

3 ago 2021 16:34 GMT

The article was removed from the state-owned media website and later republished without the phrase “spiritual opium” and in softer language.

Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd announced Tuesday that it will restrict minors’ access to its video game ‘Honor of Kings’ after a Chinese state newspaper called video games “spiritual opium” and “electronic drugs.”

In an article, Economic Information Daily criticized that minors had become addicted to online games and called for more restrictions in the industry, pointing to ‘Honor of Kings’ as the most popular video game among students, who could play it up to eight hours a day. “No industry or sport should prosper by eradicating an entire generation,” the text stated.

After the article was published, Tencent’s stock price plummeted 10.36%. However, the text was removed from the media’s website and later republished without the phrase “spiritual opium” and in softer language in general, after which Tencent’s shares recovered somewhat to a loss. 6%, reports Forbes.

China already has strict regulations regarding video games. In 2019, it banned people under the age of 18 from playing online between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. and limited daily play time.

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