Already stuck on online games for much of the week, Chinese teens are now even more limited in how they can use their free time after the popular short video platform Douyin, the Chinese version of Tiktok. , announced that users under the age of 14 cannot use the application for a maximum of 40 minutes per day, and only between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
“If you are a user registered under your real name under the age of 14, you will automatically find yourself in” teenage mode “when you open Douyin”, Bytedance, the company behind the application, wrote on his corporate blog Saturday. He called on parents of young users to ensure their children register under their own identity so that the app can automatically activate time constraints.
The changes are a step up from existing measures for young users the company rolled out in 2018, including a feature that allows users to set a limit on how much time they can spend on the app each day.
Douyin’s main competitor in China, Kuaishou, also has a “teenager mode” which allows the same time limits but which is not compulsory.
The screenshots show a notification announcing the new “teenage mode” (left) and a message telling the user that they can then use Douyin in 13 hours. From Weibo
Chinese authorities are paying increased attention to what they see as minors spending too much time online. In June, the government added a chapter on “internet protection” to the new revised law on the protection of minors, who says that “providers of online games, live broadcasts, audio and visual content, and social media should implement time management tools, feature restrictions and purchase restrictions for underage users.”
Last month, China’s National Press and Publishing Administration announced that minors would be limited to no more than three hours of online gambling per week, and only “between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays. and public holidays ”.
TikTok, the version of Douyin available on international app stores, recently also beefed up protections for young users to address concerns about their privacy and security.
In August, following previous changes that limited the views of teenage accounts to only people they had approved as followers, TikTok announced new privacy controls to be rolled out globally, including requiring users under the age of 16 to specify who can watch their videos and disabling downloads of videos from underage users. TikTok also restricts the content and user interactions available to US users under 13.
Publisher: Kevin Schoenmakers.
(Header image: visual of people)