new South China Morning Post The report says China is expanding its restrictions on online gaming for minors to include live streaming, audio and video, and social media services. The new rules, which are currently open to public feedback, call on all online service providers to create a “youth mode” with restrictions on the allowed usage time, content, and the amount they are allowed to spend on online purchases.
Draft document (Google translated) says that the number of underage Internet users in China has reached 183 million, and the “internet penetration rate” for minors is 94.9%, well above the overall rate of 70.4%. It’s a powerful educational tool, but it also opens the door to “illegal and unscrupulous information” that minors generally don’t know how to properly handle.
In this regard, Chinese Secretary-General Xi Jinping called for “strengthening cyberspace management in accordance with the law, strengthening online content creation, and creating a clean cyberspace for the majority of netizens, especially young people.”
The new rules address four main issues:
- Internet literacy among minors
- Content standards
- Protection of personal information of minors
- Prevention and fight against Internet addiction among minors
Interestingly, the rules apply not only to online service providers, but also to hardware manufacturers that make and sell mobile devices and computers, who must “accept state and public oversight” and install access restriction software on their products before releasing them to the general public.
BUT Reuters The report says some Chinese companies, including streaming platforms Tencent Video and iQIYI, have already implemented “youth regime” systems for minors. But the tightening of restrictions by the Chinese government is taking a toll on many of the country’s big players: stock prices of both tencent as well as iQIYIas well as Chinese video hosting Bilbilidropped sharply since early 2021.