The Chinese Government has banned under 16s from live-streaming, along with other gaming and internet restrictions as part of their 10-year plan on children’s development.
The South China Morning Post reports that the Chinese government’s State Council released their national guidelines; focused on limiting the time and money minors spend on online games. The onus on limiting this are on those who provide games, live-streaming, video and audio streaming, and social media.
This includes banning under 16 from live-streaming; presumably any sort of content from live-streaming video games, to blogging and other entertainment. In addition to the existing real-name authentication system, facial recognition for mobile games and more; the Chinese government are aiming to implement a unified electronic ID authentication system- to manage minors playing games.
There will also be actions taken to better classify games, review their content, and limit game time for children. The former two may affect publishers and developers who wish to sell games in China, and compare them to focusing on other regions.
Measures to protect children’s personal information and privacy will also reportedly be undertaken. This likely does not include data the Chinese government would wish to access.
The guidelines were unveiled with national guidelines for women’s development; with goals in education and welfare for the generation dubbed “the country’s future.” This also includes raising the completion rate of China’s nine-year education program to over 96%. The South China Morning Post notes the new guidelines could see higher compliance costs for tech giants Tencent and Bytedance.
While they also note that some parents grant their children their IDs to access online services, the “social credit” system will undoubtedly punish them if caught. It grants perks for “good citizens” (such as access to better schools for children), and restrictions on “bad citizens” (publicly named and shamed, or banned from using public transport).
The Chinese government announced in late August that it banned children from playing online video games online video games Monday through Thursday. On Fridays, weekends, and public holidays they can only play for one hour; between 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. As of November 2019, under 18s were previously limited to 90 minutes per-day, with three hours at weekends and holidays.
The law was designed to curb video game addiction (also known as gaming disorder), along with preventing online games from distracting them from school, family responsibilities, and causing other societal ills. Chinese tech giant Tencent recently lost almost $60 billion USD in stock value; after Chinese state media’s Economic Information Daily described online games as “spiritual opium.”
Should an under 16 be banned from live-streaming, even if there is no risk of harassment? Sound off in the comments below!