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3 months ago
Tencent Uses Facial Recognition to Ban Kids Gaming Past Bedtime

 
Originally published in Bloomberg, July 8, 2021.

In the latest bid to curb video-game addiction in China, tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. has launched a facial recognition system to stop minors gaming into the night. The initiative will prevent people under 18 from playing between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.

The system, dubbed Midnight Patrol, is in place in more than 60 of Tencent’s games and includes popular titles like “Honor of Kings” and “Peacekeeper Elite,” the company said in a press release Tuesday.

The facial-recognition system will allow Tencent to thwart the tactics kids have developed to get around current age restrictions such as using their parents’ identities or devices. The system works by scanning the faces of players to check their age.

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