The Chinese regime plans to limit the use of mobile phones by those under 18 to a maximum of two hours a day.

A boy shields himself from the rain with an umbrella while checking his mobile phone on the ground floor of the Forbidden City in Beijing. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Chinese regime published a draft rule that provides that phones and mobile applications There is a special regime for minors that restricts their use children and adolescents no more than two hours a day.

According to the China Cyberspace Authority’s draft rules published on its website, youth regime It should have an auto-switch feature that allows the user, with a single click, to access an age-adapted interface and exit with parental verification and authorization.

In addition, the youth regime will be divided into five age intervals: Under 3 years old, 3 to 8 years old, 8 to 12 years old, 12 to 16 years old and 16 to 18 years old.

Depending on the “physical and mental characteristics” of each groupwill be offered content and information “sufficient for their development”which will be exempt from the restrictions, but the agency did not specify what those services would be.

For users under 8 years old, the total time of using the smart terminal should not exceed 40 minutes per day, and for children under 3 years old, the document suggests listening to educational programs and songs.

Young people use their mobile phones in a dining room in Shanghai (Reuters)

For age range ages 8 to 16 are allowed one hour of daily useand teenagers aged 16 to 18 will be able to use their terminals for two hours.

In addition, the project prohibits mobile applications from providing services to minors. from 22:00 to 06:00 the next day.

Restrictions are Beijing’s latest effort try to limit internet addiction, a problem he sees as widespread among young people. In 2019, the government limited online gaming time for minors to 90 minutes a day, and in 2021, it tightened those limits to one hour on Fridays, weekends and public holidays.

Under the 2019 ruling, short video apps like TikTok were already required to offer special treatment for minors, which restricts certain types of content and imposes other restrictions on the time of use in an Asian country.

In 2021, Chinese authorities restricted minors’ access to online video games to three hours per week, with the stated goal of “effectively protecting the mental and physical health” and “healthy growth” of young people.

Latest restrictions will have implications for companies like Tencent, the largest online game company in the country, responsible for the popular short video platform Douyin. In China, companies are often held accountable for compliance with regulations.

The agency said the draft rules would be open for proposals until September 2, but did not specify when they would come into effect.

(As reported by EFE and AP)

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