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Chinese Company to Use Face Recognition to Detect Underage Gamers


A Chinese company is planning to use facial recognition technology to detect minors attempting to play its video games.

In a statement released Saturday, Tencent Holdings, the world's largest games company, said it would begin testing the new feature on a select group of users in Beijing and Shenzhen.

Using the phone's camera, the highly-popular mobile game "Honour of Kings" will request roughly 1,000 new users to submit to a face scan for identity verification purposes.

The new feature comes less than a month after Honour of Kings, which currently boasts more than 200 million players, began checking users' personal information against public security databases in order to verify their identities.

The South China Morning Post reports Tencent's decision follows outcry from the Chinese government over alleged health dangers related to children and video games.

"Tencent's stricter controls over underage gamers come amid Beijing's call to protect children's health, with the government blaming the country's widespread myopia on the playing of video games," SCMP's Zheping Huang writes.

The company similarly implemented last week a new feature to one of its video apps that blurs the screen if a user comes too close.

Huang says measures were also introduced to limit the amount of time young users could spend on Honour of Kings last year after a prominent state newspaper called the game "poison."

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