Tencent might make kids do chores to earn mobile playtime

The game maker is exploring a feature that lets parents and children negotiate playtime in exchange for household chores or academic achievements.

Zoey Chong Reporter
Zoey is CNET's Asia News Reporter based in Singapore. She prefers variety to monotony and owns an Android mobile device, a Windows PC and Apple's MacBook Pro all at the same time. Outside of the office, she can be found binging on Korean variety shows, if not chilling out with a book at a café recommended by a friend.
Zoey Chong

Tencent's biggest game is Honour of Kings. It's known in the West as Arena of Valor.


Tencent is still working out how to respond to concerns about addiction to Honour of Kings, China's most popular mobile game

Last year, it began limiting children under 12 to one hour a day of play. The Chinese tech giant is now exploring a feature that would allow parents and children to negotiate a digital contract regarding playtime, local media reported over the weekend.

Children would be able to receive playtime as a reward for completing tasks and meeting goals set out in the agreement, Pony Ma, CEO of Tencent, told Sina on the sidelines of China's annual parliamentary meetings Saturday.

Game addiction is a huge concern for parents and teachers in China. They are particularly worried children have become addicted to Tencent's wildly popular Honour of Kings.

Ma noted that Tencent co-founder Zhang Zhidong dislikes last year's measure and wants the company to figure out how to handle the issue through parent-child interaction instead.

"Parents and their children can draw up a digital contract that correlates playtime to task achievement," Ma said. "So if the child does something as agreed -- for example, engaging in outdoor activities, doing housework or makes an academic achievement -- he can exchange that for a longer play time as a reward."

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