China’s internet regulatory body in a bid to prevent the addiction of teenagers to mobile phones will limit screen time to a maximum of just two hours a day.
The Cyberspace Administration of China said it wanted to mandate so-called ‘minor mode programmes’ for smart devices that would ban under-18 users from accessing the internet between 10 pm to 6 am, Daily Mail reported on Thursday.
CAC also said aged 16 to 18 will be limited to two hours of screen time a day, under 16 would get just one hour per day and those under eight would get just eight minutes to use devices.
The proposed reforms would give parents the option to opt out of the limits.
Chinese tech firm’s shares in Hong Kong largely fell after the CAC published its proposals, which it said were open to public feedback until early September.
A lawyer at the Shanghai Shenlun law firm, Xia Hailong, said the rules would be a headache for internet companies and warned that Chinese internet companies may simply ban users under 18 from using their services altogether.
Shenlun said, “A lot of effort and additional costs to properly implement these new regulatory requirements.”
ByteDance, which owns and runs TikTok, already bans teens from spending more than 40 minutes a day on the app.
This isn’t the first time Chinese authorities have cracked down on how teenagers spend their free time.