China is proposing new measures that would limit that amount of time minors spend on their phones as a part of their initiative to curb internet addiction and “cultivate good morality and socialist values,” according to reports.
The proposal came from the Cyberspace Administration of China, the nation’s top internet regulator. The proposal requires all mobile devices, apps, and app stores to have a built in “minor mode” that would limit daily screen time for kids and teens to a maximum of two hours a day, depending on the specific age group.
These restrictions, if approved, will add onto current measures that were passed as a part of Beijing’s effort to limit screen time among kids and reduce their “exposure to undesirable information,” according to CNN.
The proposal’s rules will be open for public discussion until September 2nd. If it were to pass, kids and teens using devices on minor mode will have all of their applications close automatically once their time limits are up. Also, no one under the age of 18 will be able to access their screens from 10 pm to 6 am.
Children under the age of eight will be able to use their phones for only 40 minutes a day while kids between the ages of eight and 16 will get an hour. Teenagers between the ages of 16 and 18 will be allotted two hours.
After using their devices for 30 minutes, all age groups will receive a reminder to rest. The Cyberspace Administration also thinks “mobile internet service providers should actively create content that disseminates core socialist values and forges a sense of community of the Chinese nation,” according to the draft.
Certain educational services as well as emergency services will not be impacted by the time limits.
According to CNN, parents are on board with the proposal. “I think it’s good. On the one hand, it can protect their vision as many young kids cannot stop themselves while watching something they like. On the other hand, it’s easier for us parents to control our kids’ screen time. Most importantly the content under the minor mode is more positive and healthy,” one parent said.
According to the China Internet Network Information Center, China has one of the world’s largest internet user bases, with about 1.07 billion users out of a population of 1.4 billion. One in five users were 19 years old or younger, as of December 2022.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.