China’s Proposed Measures to Curb Internet Addiction Among Minors
China is taking steps to address internet addiction among minors with a proposal to limit screen time for kids and teens. The Cyberspace Administration of China is suggesting a “minor mode” for mobile devices and apps that would restrict daily screen time to a maximum of two hours a day, depending on the age group. Children under eight would be allowed 40 minutes, eight to 16-year-olds would get an hour, and teenagers over 16 and under 18 would have a two-hour limit.
These measures are part of Beijing’s effort to reduce exposure to “undesirable information” and promote good morality and socialist values among young people. The proposal also prohibits anyone under 18 from accessing screens between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. while using the minor mode.
While the proposal aims to protect children’s eyes and combat myopia, a national health concern in China, it also poses challenges for tech companies. They will be responsible for enforcing the regulations, and the announcement of the new rules caused some top internet firms’ shares to drop.
Parents have shown tentative support for the proposal, as it can help them control their kids’ screen time and ensure access to more positive and healthy content. However, the effectiveness of the measures may rely on parents’ buy-in, especially since children sometimes use their parents’ accounts to bypass restrictions.
China’s large internet user base, with about one in five users being 19 years or under, makes addressing internet addiction a significant social concern. In the past, China implemented measures like barring online gamers under 18 from playing on weekdays and limiting their play to three hours on weekends. Tech companies also introduced more parental controls to comply with Beijing’s push for oversight.
To further cultivate socialist values and forge a sense of community, the proposal urges mobile internet service providers to create content that aligns with these principles.
Overall, the success of these measures will depend on public feedback during the open discussion period, and the willingness of parents to support and enforce these restrictions to curb internet addiction among children and teenagers.
China’s proposed measures to address internet addiction among minors reflect the government’s ongoing efforts to ensure a healthier online environment for young people. By implementing a “minor mode” for mobile devices and apps, the Cyberspace Administration of China aims to limit daily screen time for kids and teenagers, considering their age group. This initiative not only intends to protect children’s eyes and combat myopia but also seeks to shield them from exposure to “undesirable information.”
The proposal presents a challenge for tech companies as they are responsible for enforcing these regulations, potentially impacting their shares in the market. Nevertheless, parents have expressed some support for the measures as they can help them regulate their children’s screen time and ensure access to more positive and constructive content.
Addressing internet addiction is crucial in China, where a significant portion of the internet user base comprises young individuals. By introducing measures like restricting online gaming and encouraging parental controls, the government has already taken steps towards oversight. The proposed content alignment with socialist values and community-building further highlights China’s aim to promote positive influence through online platforms.
The success of these measures hinges on public feedback during the open discussion period, as well as parents’ willingness to actively support and enforce the restrictions. In striking a balance between technology use and healthy lifestyle choices, China seeks to safeguard its young generation from the potential pitfalls of excessive screen time while fostering a more constructive online environment.