China’s Limits On Gaming Time Increases Risks For Companies Outside Of China
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On August 30, 2020, the National Press and Publication
Administration (NPPA) of the People’s
Republic of China (China or
PRC) issued Guoxin Chufa (2021) 14,
Notice to Prevent Minors from Indulging in Online
Videogames (the Notice). The Notice came into
effect on September 1, 2021, the same day that the Personal
Information Protection Law (PIPL) was passed. The
PIPL will come into effect on November 1, 2021.
The Notice requires PRC online videogame companies to limit the
videogame time for minors under the age of 18 to essentially three
hours per week, i.e., between 8:00 pm and 9:00 pm on Friday,
Saturday, and Sunday, as well as legal holidays. To implement these
rigid time restrictions, online videogame companies must utilize
the real identification system operated by the NPPA to register
users for an account and cannot provide services to unregistered
Online videogame companies with games already published in China
should coordinate with their publication and operation partners in
China to ensure steps are being taken to comply with the Notice.
For the future publication of new games, slower and more rigorous
reviews prior to authorization for publishing should be
Beyond the Notice’s obvious effects on videogame
businesses inside of China, it will likely drive China-based minors
to access online videogames on overseas servers to circumvent the
strict time restrictions, which would cause companies to become
subject to the PIPL.
The PIPL has extraterritorial effect when collecting or
analyzing personal information of China-based individuals and
includes strict requirements for the collection of personal
information of minors under the age of 14, which is defined as
“sensitive personal information.” We discussed the
unique issues caused for online videogame companies by the PIPL in
article and the general requirements of the PIPL in this
article. Because of the requirements of the Notice, more
China-based minors will access online videogames on overseas
servers, which could subject companies to the most rigid
requirements of the PIPL, including:
- Obtaining advanced and informed parental consent to process
minors’ personal information;
- Formulating special personal information processing rules for
minors’ personal information;
- Developing a specified purpose and necessity, and enacting
strict protective measures for sensitive personal information;
- Conducting a personal information protection impact assessment
before processing sensitive personal information.
With the effective date for the PIPL set at November 1, 2021,
there is a short window to review data practice and take steps
toward compliance. Companies with operations in China or that
provide services to China-based individuals should begin to review
their data practice as soon as possible.
The above is a summary of PRC law and regulations. Winston has
formed the YuandaWinston strategic alliance with a licensed Chinese
law firm, which can advise on the specifics and application of PRC
law. Lawyers in the strategic alliance partner frequently to assist
multinational companies with data compliance under PRC law.
Companies should feel free to contact us with any questions.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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