China issues further time restrictions limiting phone and internet usage for youth

Time restrictions aims to prevent internet and video game addiction!

In yet another attempt to fight internet and game addiction, China has issued further time restrictions on phone and internet usage for teens. According to reports, the new rules proposed by the Chinese regulators will have internet access on smartphones cut for people “under 18” from 10:00 pm- 06:00 am, and for phone usage, under 8 children will be restricted to a maximum of 40 minutes per day.

Kids over the age of 8 and under 16 can use their phone for one hour and those aged between 16 and 17 years will be able to use their phone for a maximum of two hours. However, these restrictions do not apply to those who are 18 or above years of age and parents can easily bypass the restrictions if they wish.

China time restrictions
Image via CNA

China had previously issued restrictions to battle video game addiction in 2021

This shouldn’t come as a surprise since China had previously declared a new rule in the country to fight game addiction among young people that reduced gaming duration for under 18 children from 8 pm and 9 pm for 3 days i.e. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and regular holidays. Following this¬†announcement, China also brought a pilot of their new internet teenage mode to do so and even followed up with stricter rules recently.¬†

China has one of the largest numbers of video game players in the world and some of the largest gaming and tech companies, such as Tencent and NetEase. However, the gaming companies had said that gamers under 18 are only a small portion of their total player base, the restrictions hurt the gaming industry revenue in China which had only grown 6.4% in 2021, resulting in a sharp reduction from 20.7% growth in 2020.

The time restrictions do not apply to regulated education or emergency applications

Tencent 7 games event, Tencent lawsuit Aidai
Image via Tencent

These restrictions will only apply to internet and gaming smartphones and accessories and regulated education products or emergency service applications. These new rules by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) are some of the most strict in the world. Commenting on the same CAC stated, “these rules will improve the role of the internet in a positive way and create a favorable network environment and fight in minors’ internet and gaming addiction problems.”

Following this announcement by CAC, shares of many internet companies fell with Tencent’s Hong Kong shares falling by 3%, according to a report by CNA. It will be worth seeing how these time restrictions are implemented and enforced and what effects they might have on the tech and gaming giants of China.

What are your thoughts on this internet time restrictions announcement in China? Let us know in the comment section below!

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