BEIJING, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- China will monitor
imported online games more carefully to ensure the legality and suitability of
the content of games sold in China, according to a circular issued by China's
Press and Publication Administration.
The administration said distributors must provide
detailed information about the games and be honest when applying for marketing
approval for the games.
Distributors are also required to ensure that
operators do not add in illegal or improper content, the People's Daily reported
Monitoring reports must be delivered to the
government monthly, according to the circular.
Serious violations would lead to operators being
disqualified, the administration said.
The administration said there has been a rash of
problems with imported online games, some of which contain sensitive religious
material or refer to territorial disputes.
Distributors were fingered for deliberately
concealing the content of the games when applying for approval and operators
sometimes upgraded games with improper content, the administration said.
Experts said the government should improve the legal
network and adopt a compulsory rating system to protect young netizens from
improper online games.
Statistics show that imported online games
represented 62.5 percent of the 168 games operated in China at the end of 2004.
Some imported games were criticized for violent or pornographic content.
China now has 23 million online game players, a surge
from 13.8million in 2003. A 2005 survey showed that 13 percent of young internet
users were big fans of online games.
Revenue from the country's online gaming sector alone
is expected to reach nearly 7 billion yuan (886 mln U.S. dollars) in 2006, with
further predictions that it will double to 14.3 billion(1.8 bln U.S. dollars) in