The People’s Republic of China is proposing new measures to curb the amount of time that kids and teens can spend on their phones, as the world power takes aim at internet addiction and tries to cultivate “good morality” and “socialist values” among minors.
A proposal released by the Cyberspace Administration of China, the country’s internet regulator, on Wednesday, August 2 would require all mobile devices, apps and app stores to have a built in “minor mode” that would restrict daily screen time to a maximum of two hours a day, depending on the age group.
The restrictions, if legalized, would mark an expansion of existing measures by Beijing to limit screen time among kids and reduce their exposure to “undesirable information.”
Under the draft rules, which are open for public discussion until September 2, children and teens using devices on minor mode would automatically see online applications close when respective time limits are up. They would also be offered “age-based content.”
No one under 18 would be able to access their screens between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. while using the mode.
The proposed law says Children under eight would be able to use their phones for only 40 minutes a day, while those between eight and 16 would get an hour of screen time. Teenagers over 16 and under 18 would be allowed two hours.
All age groups would receive a reminder to rest after using their device for more than 30 minutes.
Mobile internet service providers should also actively create content that “disseminates core socialist values” and “forges a sense of community of the Chinese nation,” the draft says.
Parents would be able to override time restrictions, and certain educational and emergency services would not be subject to the time limits.
China has one of the world’s largest internet user bases, with roughly 1.07 billion people in the country of 1.4 billion having access to the web, according to the China Internet Network Information Center. About one in five users were 19 years or under, as of December.
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