China’s cyberspace regulator drafts new rules to protect minors

FILE PHOTO: People play online games at an internet cafe in Fuyang
FILE PHOTO: People play online games at an internet cafe in Fuyang, Anhui province, China August 20, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

March 14, 2022

BEIJING (Reuters) -Companies engaged in online gaming, livestreaming, audio and video in China should set up a “youth mode” to protect minors, according to draft regulations issued on Monday by the Cyberspace Administration of China.

The major platforms should regularly conduct assessments on cyber protection for minors in order to provide a “clean” online environment for them, CAC said, adding that the platforms should also cap daily spending amount for minor users.

China’s major video streaming platforms Tencent Video and iQIYI, as well as ByteDance-owned short video platform Douyin have already launched a “youth mode” for minors.

Authorities in China have long worried about addiction to gaming and the internet among its young people.

Last year, China introduced new rules that limit the amount of time under-18s can spend on video games to three hours a week, a move it said was necessary to combat gaming addiction.

(Reporting by Yingzhi Yang and Brenda Goh; Editing by Christopher Cushing & Simon Cameron-Moore)