The Chinese government continues to impose restrictions on screen time for teenagers. In 2021, China limited playing time for youth under 18 to only 3 hours a week, and now it is proposed to limit the time of smartphone use to 2 hours a day, writes Engadget.
The Cyberspace Administration of China proposed draft regulations, according to with which adolescents under the age of 18 must limit the time of smartphone use to two hours a day. For children from 8 to 15 years of age, the limit will be one hour per day, and for those younger than 8 years – 40 minutes.
The new rules also prohibit any smartphone use between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. All phones should have an easy access mode that will allow parents to limit what children can see and allow internet providers to show age-appropriate content. Children under the age of 3 will be limited to songs and other forms of audio, while children aged 12 and over will be able to view educational and news content.
The project is open for public discussion and it is not a fact that it will be accepted, but this is China, so it will most likely be. There are also questions regarding the implementation of new restrictions. It is not yet clear who will be responsible for the implementation of the children’s mode – equipment manufacturers or operating system developers.
If the restrictions are implemented, Chinese software developers such as ByteDance (TikTok and its Chinese counterpart Douyin) and Tencent (WeChat and many popular games) will have to adapt their applications and their content to the new restrictions.
Attempts to limit and in some cases ban the smartphone use for children are currently taking place in various countries around the world. For example, in the Netherlands, they are trying to ban smartphones, smart watches, and tablets in schools. But China is China, so the restriction for reasons of overcoming dependence on screens most likely also has the intention of controlling the flow of information that surrounds children.