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China could limit children smartphone usage to just 2 hour…


The Chinese government has always maintained a tough stance on limiting children’s smartphone usage. Now, in line with these efforts, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has proposed a new draft which aims to tackle addictive behavior and the potential adverse effects of smartphones on children’s growth by imposing a limit on their smartphone usage.

If enacted into law, the proposed regulation would limit smartphone usage based on age groups. For example, children under the age of eight would have a maximum of 40 minutes of smartphone usage per day. Those between eight and 16 years old can use their phones for up to one hour daily, while teenagers aged 16 to 17 can use their phones for up to two hours.

Furthermore, the CAC has also proposed a new “minor mode” in smartphones, which mode would not only be accessible upon device activation but also enable parents to manage their children’s content access, thus ensuring they only see age-appropriate and safe material. Moreover, children under 3 years of age can only listen to songs and audio content.

Although regulated educational content and emergency services would be exempt from the restrictions, smartphones would not be allowed to offer any services to children from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. to promote healthy sleep habits. Additionally, for children to disable the “minor mode,” they would need their parent’s verification.

Impact on the companies

Although the smartphone usage limit and the content restrictions could help kids in China overcome the growing smartphone addiction, there is some confusion about the implementation. This is because it remains uncertain whether the responsibility for creating the minor mode software would fall on operating system providers or device manufacturers.

Moreover, the content limitations for kids could also present a significant challenge for companies like Tencent and TikTok, which might need to make substantial changes to their app designs and content to align with the proposed time limits and ensure compliance with the government’s vision.

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