The Chinese version of the popular TikTok short video app may only be used by children under the age of 14 for a maximum of 40 minutes per day and not at all between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. This was announced by the Chinese company ByteDance, which operates Douyin at the weekend, reports the South China Morning Post from Hong Kong. For children under the age of 14 there is now a special “youth mode” that is automatically selected if they are correctly registered. In order for children to be recognized by the app, their identity must be confirmed. ByteDance therefore urges parents to help their children complete the process.
Child protection through time limits
With the limitation of the usage time, children should be protected, explains the operator according to the reports. Above all, internet addiction should therefore be counteracted. Like its almost functionally equivalent counterpart TikTok for the international market, Douyin has become successful because young users can easily create short music videos with it. There is now a lot more different content. The “youth mode” should now show children above all educationally valuable content, i.e. videos of scientific experiments, about history and from museums. However, it remains to be seen how the time limitation of use will affect Douyin’s future.
The time limit for children on TikTok is just one of several software restrictions in China that have been implemented in the past few days. It reminds of the requirement that minors have only been allowed to play online games on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays since the beginning of September, and only for one hour between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. The ban “is intended to protect the physical and mental health of minors” and is linked to strict registration requirements. It is not yet possible to foresee what economic effects these regulations will have on the providers of the services.