China will restrict social media and livestreaming for minors

China will restrict social media

A new report confirms China will restrict social media and livestreaming access for minors, an expansion of their existing limits for minors playing video games.

The news that China will restrict social media and livestreaming comes via the South China Morning Post, which notes the new regulations are calling on all online services providers and developers to implement a “youth mode” for their platforms.

This new proposed mode would have an allowed limit of usage, content they’re allowed to access or publish, and how much they’re allowed to spend in online purchases.

The document notes underage internet users in China has surged to 183 million, and the “internet penetration rate” for minors is a staggering 94.9%, vastly above the worldwide average of 70.4%.

Chinese legislators note in the document that while this high-adoption for internet usage by minors in the nation could be great as a path for education, but they note it also allows for “illegal and bad information,” which they say minors aren’t developed enough to handle well.

There’s also lots of pornography or borderline content on the internet in general – and most especially social media, which China is also not fond of.

Coming from this, China’s president Xi Jinping called for the nation to “strengthen the responsibility” of internet platforms to focus on “the protection of minors online.”

If the new legislation is actually passed, developers and internet platforms alike will have to adopt new policies and functionality with a focus on the physical and mental health of minors.

It’s worth noting the new regulations would not only apply to developers and digital platforms like Tencent Video, but also hardware companies that are making and selling things like smartphones and personal computers.

The hardware manufacturers in particular must “accept government and social supervision” and install the new access restriction functionality on their products.

Previous restrictions in China came in the form of requiring a photo ID to play Tencent games, as well as a blanket restriction on how much minors can play video games, which got further restricted down to only a few hours a week.

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