Chinese authorities are currently taking action against the social network and game provider Tencent. In Beijing’s Haidian district, the public prosecutor’s office filed a lawsuit because the youth protection mode of the popular messenger WeChat is not supposed to comply with official requirements. The public prosecutor did not disclose details of what requirements were meant.

Playtime restricted for teenagers and in-game purchases WeChat is said to have had over 1.2 billion users in 2020, at least 100,000 of them outside of China. The messaging service has an integrated payment system called WeChat Pay and can be used for video chats, among other things. WeChat’s integrated parental control mode restricts payments and contact with people in the vicinity, among other things.

Tencent’s share price had already slumped by around five percent on Tuesday after an article appeared in the Chinese daily Economic Daily calling the harmful effects of online games “opium for the mind” and demanding tougher penalties against manufacturers. Tencent had then announced drastic restrictions on playing time and in-game purchases for teenage online players in its “Honor of Kings” title.

(hag)