Taiwanese Parents Now Legally Required to Restrict Their Tech-Addicted Teens

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Alongside cigarettes, alcohol, drugs and chewing betel nuts, lawmakers in Taiwan are looking to clamp down on a new addiction besieging the country’s youth: Electronic devices.

The sovereign state passed a law last Friday prohibiting people aged 18 and under from using devices -- including mobile products, television and video games -- “for a period of time that is not reasonable,” The Telegraph reports.

While it is unclear how the government plans to define a “reasonable” amount of time or enforce the regulation, the law is the brainchild of Parliament member Lu Shiow-yen, who reportedly said his intention was to limit usage to 30-minute increments.

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Parents who fail to enforce the law, entitled the “Child and Youth Welfare and Protection Act,” can incur fines of up to $1,595.

Public reaction has been mixed. Though some citizens feel as though the decree is valid, others claimed it violated personal privacy laws, according to Kotaku.

Taiwan is not the only Asian country seeking to curb digital addictions in an age where, by 2020, 90 percent of the world’s population aged 6 years and over is expected to have a mobile phone. In China, the city of Shanghai and the province of Zhejiang have both introduced laws cautioning parents against allowing their children to be “overindulgent” with electronics, according to The Telegraph.

Related: In a Catch-22, This App Rewards People for Setting Down Their Phones

Edition: July 2017

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