China
China

China Proposes New Limits on Kid’s smartphone use

What To Know

  • The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has presented preliminary regulations aimed at limiting the phone usage of individuals under the age of 18 to a maximum of two hours per day.
  • Youngsters aged eight to 15 would be confined to one hour of phone use daily, while those under the age of eight would have a limit of 40 minutes.
  • Children below the age of three would be limited to listening to songs and other forms of audio content, while those aged 12 and above would have the privilege of accessing educational and news-related materials.
  • Presently, the country already restricts young individuals to a maximum of three hours of online video gaming per week, and this is only permitted during weekends and public holidays.

China may consider imposing additional restrictions on the usage of smartphones by children. The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has presented preliminary regulations aimed at limiting the phone usage of individuals under the age of 18 to a maximum of two hours per day.

This restriction specifically applies to 16- and 17-year-olds. Youngsters aged eight to 15 would be confined to one hour of phone use daily, while those under the age of eight would have a limit of 40 minutes.

Furthermore, the proposed regulations would prohibit any phone usage between the hours of 10 PM and 6 AM. It would also mandate that phones have an easily accessible mode allowing parents to regulate their children’s content viewing and enabling internet providers to display age-appropriate material.

Proposed Regulations for Smartphone Usage by Children in China

Children below the age of three would be limited to listening to songs and other forms of audio content, while those aged 12 and above would have the privilege of accessing educational and news-related materials. Exceptions would be made for supervised educational content and emergency services.

Similar to previous measures, the primary goal of these proposals is to address addictive behavior in children. The Chinese government is concerned that prolonged use of mobile devices, games, and services might adversely affect children’s development.

Presently, the country already restricts young individuals to a maximum of three hours of online video gaming per week, and this is only permitted during weekends and public holidays.

It is important to note that the draft is currently open for public consultation and is not guaranteed to be enacted. There are also lingering uncertainties regarding the implementation process. CNBC points out that it remains unclear whether hardware manufacturers or operating system developers will be responsible for implementing the children’s mode.

While Apple would need to modify the iPhone’s parental controls in China regardless of this distinction, involving the OS developer may necessitate changes from companies like Google, not just vendors such as Oppo or Xiaomi.

Moreover, these rules would significantly impact Chinese app developers like ByteDance (the company behind TikTok and its China-based counterpart Douyin) and Tencent (the creator of WeChat and numerous games). These developers might be compelled to design apps and tailor content to comply with the specified time limits.

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