China's problem of youth game addiction has been solved -top industry body

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China has resolved the problem of game addiction among its youth, a report co-written by the country's top gaming industry association said, in remarks likely to be welcomed by the regulations-battered sector.

The comment came from a report by the China Game Industry Group Committee, affiliated with the online game publishing regulator, China Game Industry Research Institute and data provider CNG, CNG said on its official WeChat account on Tuesday.

Chinese regulators in September last year stepped in with new rules barring anyone under 18 from playing video games for more than three hours a week, a stringent social intervention that it said was needed to pull the plug on a growing addiction to what it had described as "spiritual opium".

The move came as part of a broad regulatory crackdown against the Chinese technology sector and was seen as an effort to also tighten controls over the gaming industry, which was hit soon afterward with a lengthy title approval freeze.

CNG said the report found that more than 75% of young players now played games for less than 3 hours a week and praised Chinese game companies for achieving "remarkable results" after setting up systems to curb game addiction.

It cited efforts from Tencent Holdings, NetEase and Perfect World, among others.

(Reporting by Brenda Goh and Josh Ye; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Gerry Doyle)