A new report from the South China Morning Post says China is expanding its restrictions on online gaming for minors to include live streaming, audio and video, and social media services. The new regulations, currently open for public comment, call on all online service providers to create a “youth mode” with limits on allowed usage time, content and the amount they are allowed to spend on online shopping.
The draft document (translated by Google) states that the number of underage internet users in China has reached 183 million and that the “internet penetration rate” for minors is 94.9%, well above the rate overall 70.4%. It is a powerful educational tool but also opens the door to “illegal and bad information”, which minors are generally not well equipped to handle properly.
For this reason, China’s Secretary General Xi Jinping called for “strengthening the governance of cyberspace in accordance with law, strengthening the construction of online content, and creating a clean cyberspace for the majority of Internet users, especially young people”.
The new regulations aim to address four main concerns:
- Internet literacy among minors
- Information Content Standards
- Protect the personal information of minors
- Preventing and controlling Internet addiction among minors
Interestingly, the regulations don’t just apply to online service providers, but to hardware companies that manufacture and sell mobile devices and computers, which must “accept government and social supervision” and install restriction software. access to their products before releasing them to the public.
A Reuters report says some Chinese companies, including streaming platforms Tencent Video and iQIYI, have already implemented “youth mode” systems for minors. But the tightening of restrictions imposed by the Chinese government is weighing on many of the country’s big players: the stock prices of Tencent and iQIYI, as well as Chinese video-sharing site Bilbili, have all fallen dramatically since the start. of 2021.