TikTok parent ByteDance adds time limit for kids under 14 on its video app in China
The Chinese version of the popular short video app TikTok, known as Douyin, will limit users in China who are under 14 years old to 40 minutes a day, parent company ByteDance said in a blog post Saturday.
The app’s youth mode keeps it in line with the Chinese government’s new restrictions on access to video games for younger children. Teens under 14 will be able to access Douyin between 6AM and 10PM, but won’t be able to use the app outside of that window, the company said. The rules will apply to “real-name authenticated users” under 14, and the company encouraged parents to help their children complete the real-name authentication process, or activate youth mode when prompted by the app.
The Chinese government has been focused on reducing the amount of time Chinese teenagers spend online, which it views as harmful. Last month, its National Press and Publication Administration unveiled new rules, which restrict Chinese citizens under 18 to playing online games only on Fridays, weekends, and holidays, between 8PM and 9PM. Authorities have directed game companies and platforms like Douyin to use real-name identification for all its users; the process requires users to provide a phone number and other identification to access online games.
ByteDance said the content available to users in youth mode will now include educational material like “interesting popular science experiments, exhibitions in museums and galleries, beautiful scenery across the country, explanations of historical knowledge, and so on.”