On September 6, a CCTV reporter conducted an investigation into the new black market of renting and buying video game accounts in China.
Of course, purchasing high-level accounts in games like League of Legends and Dota 2 has been commonplace for years. But now, instead of buying accounts to boost one’s ego, Chinese gamers are buying and even renting accounts just to circumvent new gaming restrictions that limit players to only three hours of play time per week.
According to the CCTV investigation, the reporter was able to easily rent an Honor of Kings account for two hours for 33 yuan which allowed them to play without going through any identity verification. Other providers exposed through the investigation charged up to 100 yuan for one hour. This type of rented account allows users to enter the HoK matchmaking system through an unofficial app. Operators of such accounts were lambasted for creating a “gray market” by CCTV.
Tencent, the developers of Honor of Kings, quickly picked up on this story. The company released a statement the same day claiming to have begun legal action against more than 20 of these account renters. The post went on to call for new laws to punish account sellers and renters.