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ByteDance Caps Screen Time for Kids in China

This is the latest move by Chinese companies and officials to reduce screen time for children in the country. 

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ByteDance Ltd., which makes TikTok, has announced that it will cap access to Douyin, the Chinese version of the app, for users under the age of 14. This is the latest move by Chinese companies and officials to reduce screen time for children in the country. 

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The company announced the changes Saturday in a blog post, saying the move is part of an effort to protect young people. 

“All real-name users under the age of 14 have entered the youth mode, and new registered users in the future will also enter directly,” said the post, according to a translation.

Related: China's Limit on Children's Gaming Time Goes Into Effect

Douyin’s youth mode is in line with the Chinese government’s new restrictions on minors’ access to video games. Anyone under 14 is able to access Douyin between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., but can’t use the app outside that time frame. Further, the content available in youth mode will feature educational material like “interesting popular science experiments, exhibitions in museums and galleries, beautiful scenery across the country, explanations of historical knowledge, and so on.”

The company encouraged parents to help their children complete the real-name authentication or turn on youth mode when prompted. 

Earlier this month, the Chinese government enacted its mandate that no one under 18 can play more than three hours of video games per week. The Chinese media watchdog the National Press and Public Administration made the announcement in a statement posted by state news agency Xinhua.

The new crackdown means children can play games on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays, but only between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.

The agency previously set restrictions on Chinese youth’s gaming in 2019, decreeing that children could only play for 90 minutes on weekdays and three hours on weekends. Since then,  online games have required real-name verification and log-in systems.