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Tencent using facial recognition to check users' ages in Honour of Kings

Limited trial introduced over the weekend as part of public health campaign

Top grossing Chinese mobile game Honour of Kings has begun trialling facial recognition software in order to check users' ages.

Publisher Tencent introduced the system on September 29 as part of its apparent efforts to protect the well-being of minors.

Honour of Kings has been criticised in the past for causing addiction among young users, and in July last year Tencent introduced a daily play limit of one hour a day for children under 12, and two hours for children aged 13 to 18.

Last month, Tencent also added real-name recognition system to the game to deter users from bypassing the restrictions.

However, with the Chinese government having recently launched a public health campaign against the reported risks of video games -- from addition to short-sightedness -- the impetus is on Tencent to take further action.

The trial will be limited to "thousands" of randomly selected users in Beijing and Shenzhen, though there is no indication as to what technology Tencent will use, or how it will cross reference the data.

"On the basis of complying with the relevant policies and regulations of the competent authorities, Tencent will continue to carry out more active explorations, constantly improve the health online protection system for minors covering online games before, during and after the event, and work together with the community to promote healthy games," said Tencent in a statement.

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