back to article Tencent uses facial recognition to enforce China’s curfew on gaming kids

Chinese web giant Tencent has started using facial recognition tech to boot kids out of its games. As explained in a post to Chinese social media service, the new feature sees the company check accounts registered in adults’ names if they are playing games between 10:00PM and 8:00AM. The company will then run a facial …

  1. Khaptain Silver badge

    In by the back door

    We know that their is a huge outdoor coverage of Cameras in China, now that are starting to include them indoors.... Starting with the children...

    If your a crim don't play games....

    1. Michael Habel

      Re: In by the back door

      Makes you wonder where they got that idea from... Don't it?

      Mores the pitty that there isn't a CCTV, icon....

  2. Plest Silver badge

    Yes and no...

    It's very creepy and you know this is leading to worse things to come but I have to back this to a certain extent.

    Discussions with my daughter during her A-levels, the number of times she said that kids in her class would roll in to classes at 9am looking like death 'cos they'd been up all night watching TV or playing games until 4am or 5am. Parents who grew up being "parented" by screens are now passing that on, they turning out a lot of kids who can't spend more than 10 mins away from some form of screen for entertainment. My daughter is no angel by any means but she knew that she wanted get good A-level grades and she limited her TV, phone and game time to ensure she was able to concentrate on her work when it mattered.

    Time management doesn't come easy to most but if parents won't do it, schools can't then the Govs will seize it as an opportunity to introduce creepy surveillance like this. Once again a few bad apples and one more item is ticked off in the "1984 runbook".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      Re: Yes and no...

      It's not just China. South Korea passed a law that minors were not allowed to play video games at night.

      It's why Microsoft, which didn't want to get into time based age verification, just effectively rated Minecraft R in South Korea.

      Like so many things, it's good in theory but the practical consequences can be bad or, in China's case, creepy.

  3. Michael Habel

    As yes the joys of living in a Nany-state, where the Parents, can bugger off, and let the rest of the Village rase them.*

    Yes its a crack at the former Madam Secretary, and presidental hopeful Clintons, book about Villages, and childrearing

    1. Wilco

      Nobody sane would describe China as a "nan(n)y state". It's a brutal, repressive dictatorship. It is similarly incoherent to equate a fundamentally illiberal idea like compulsory facial recognition with seemingly obvious idea that society as a whole has a shared responsibility for raising children.

  4. John Sturdy


    If the Party and its affiliates start to produce games that indoctrinate the players to be Good Citizens, will those games be exempt?

    Mine's the one with "Coup d'État: A Practical Handbook" in the pocket...

  5. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Company or state?

    These Chinese companies are an extension of the CPC, but are being presented as legitimate companies like Amazon or Facebook.

    1. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: Company or state?

      They're not "an extension of the CPC", they're trying to behave like good corporate citizens -- in the context of the society they live in. Nothing much more to say, really.

      Except that we as a society seem to be regressing to our teenage years. No limits! You can't make me! Who are you to tell me what to do? Anything that pushes back against that is "brutal repression" or "the nanny state" or whatever. (There is a certain irony here because those that are loudest protesting this unwarranted state intrusion into their freedom invariably support causes and politics that directly impacts society's freedoms. But that's for another thread....)

    2. HAL-9000

      Re: Company or state?

      You mean they're not just companies?? I'm shocked beyond recognition

  6. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "privacy is dead, get over it" [scott McNealy 1999]

    Not nice, but in both Orwell's 1948 and Lucas' THX-1138 there were cameras everywhere, and the consequences in both cases were rather more severe than just being kicked of a video game. So there was plenty of prior warning. And in many places today the consequences of ubiquitous cameras are still much worse.

  7. vtcodger Silver badge

    Confucius say

    If Tencent's facial recognition algorithm works as well as most, I expect that using dad's phone with a picture of dad or for that matter a picture of a random adult Chinese like, for example, Confucius, in front of the camera will probably keep one on line past curfew. And if so and if Chinese kids are anything like American kids, 97% of the youngsters in China will know that within about 3 days of the first kid discovering it.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Confucius say

      Or they'll just play offline games... and learn that changing the clock is very easy (if necessary).

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's past your bedtime sonny

    Am I alone in feeling conflicted by this, and thinking it may not be such a bad idea

    AC of course

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: It's past your bedtime sonny

      Kind of. It's call parenting rather than using a TV/computer in place of parenting.

      Please excuse the "adults" while they watch TV or use their computer as many hours as possible...

      1. Michael Habel

        Re: It's past your bedtime sonny

        Sadly a skill that has seemed to have fallen by the wayside of late.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like