Chinese regulators have proposed limiting smartphone screen time for children.
Preventing addiction: The proposal laid out by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) aims to curb and prevent addiction among smartphone users aged under 18.
The agency proposed various time limits for different age brackets. Children aged under 8 would be restricted to a maximum of 40 minutes a day on their devices. Those over the age of 8 but under 16 would be allowed an hour of screen time per day, while those aged between 16 and 17 could use their phones for a maximum of two hours.
Additionally, smartphones would not provide services to children aged under 18 between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., with the only exemptions being regulated education products or emergency services applications.
Minor mode: The draft rules would also require smartphones to have a “minor mode” that could be accessed on the devices’ home screen or system settings. The new mode would allow parents to view and manage their children’s screens as well as allow internet service providers to show age-appropriate content. For example, children under the age of 3 could be shown songs or audio-focused content, while users between 12 and 16 could be exposed to news or educational content.
Physical and mental problems: China also warned tech companies not to provide services or content that is addictive as too much screen time has reportedly been linked to physical and mental problems, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obesity and sleep problems.
“To strengthen protection of minors, in past years, the CAC has continued to push the construction of an internet model for youths…” the agency said, according to Bloomberg. “They’ve had a positive impact in lessening youth internet addiction and curbing the impact of undesirable information.”