Tencent has shrugged off the financial implications of restricting the amount of time children under 12 can play its most popular mobile game, Honor of Kings.
Earlier this week, the Chinese company said it would limit playtime to one hour a day for children under 12, and two hours a day for the under 18s - the result of complaints from parents and teachers concerned with Honor of Kings' addictive properties.
According to Reuters, Tencent's shares fell 4% in the aftermath, a downward trend further exacerbated by China's official communist newspaper, The People's Daily, comparing the hugely popular game to "poison". Those losses are equivalent to $12 billion in Tencent's market value, which is nevertheless up more than 40% year-on-year.
In a statement issued to Reuters, Tencent played down the fiscal impact of the new measures. "(Those) under 12 years old constitute a small proportion of our total user base and a smaller percentage of our paying user base," the company said. "We do not expect these measures will have a material impact on our overall financial results."
Honor of Kings is vital to the current health of Tencent's games business. The Chinese industry database, CNG, estimated that it earned more than $800 million in revenue in the first quarter, around half of Tencent's smartphone game sales. Honor of Kings now has 55 million DAUs.