Ultimately, experts say, parents will need to control kids' access to video games, devices

Li Zhanguo’s two children, ages 4 and 8, don’t have their own smartphones, but like millions of other Chinese children, they are no strangers to online gaming.

“If my children get their hands on our mobile phones or an iPad, and if we don’t closely monitor their screen time, they can play online games for as long as three to four hours each time,” he said.

Not anymore.

Like many other parents, Li is happy with new government restrictions that limit children to just three hours weekly of online gaming time — an hour between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday most weeks.

The restrictions, which took effect earlier this month, are a tightening of 2019 rules that banned children from gaming overnight and limited them to 90 minutes most weekdays.

Experts say it’s unclear if such policies can help prevent addiction to online games, since children might just get engrossed in social media instead. Ultimately, they say, it’s up to parents to nurture good habits and set screen time limits.

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