China is about to ban children from using phones, turn off the Internet from 10 pm to 6 am
The draft introduces a 'minimum mode' on devices such as smartphones, tablets and watches that would restrict access to the Internet and device use based on a child's age.
According to the draft, teenagers in the country of billions of people between the ages of 16 and 18 will be limited to using mobile phones for only two hours a day. Children under 18 will be banned from accessing the internet between 10pm and 6am on all devices running 'minimal mode'. Children under 8 years old are only allowed to use smartphones for up to 40 minutes a day.
The new regulations proposed by the CAC are among the strictest in the world on the use of mobile devices to protect children and young people online. However, parents can choose not to apply this rule to their children and can manually bypass some of these restrictions. According to the CAC, the new requests will be made by online platforms. There are no specific penalties mentioned for companies that do not comply.
These rules are likely to hit popular platforms like Tencent's WeChat and ByteDance's Douyin. In 2021, to curb the same fear of gaming addiction Tencent had to advocate the introduction of online gaming time limits for minors.
The new regulation is in the process of collecting public comments and will take effect from September 2, 2023.