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China orders anti-addiction parental controls for short video apps

Short video apps like ByteDance’s Douyin (TikTok), Huoshan (Vigo Video) and Tencent-backed Kuaishou will have to implement parental controls by May.

tech Updated: Apr 16, 2019 20:13 IST
Marcia Sekhose
Marcia Sekhose
Hindustan Times
tiktok,tiktok video,China blocks video
TikTok, is a Chinese short-form video-sharing app, which has proved wildly popular this year.(AFP)

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has passed a new order for short video apps to introduce anti-addiction parental controls. Companies like ByteDance, Tencent will have to implement parental controls on their apps by May.

According to a report by technode, China’s internet watchdog has already started testing this system on some apps like ByteDance’s Douyin (TikTok), Huoshan (Vigo Video) and Tencent-backed Kuaishou. The new feature comes with a ‘youth mode’ which restricts minors to using the app for only 40 minutes in a day. In addition to this, parental control on these apps will restrict kids from gifting or recharge their accounts.

The report states that the latest move comes from Chinese authorities’ plans of making screen time stricter for kids in the country. Kids in rural areas are reportedly more hooked to their phones through these apps.

China’s crackdown on mobile entertainment extends to gaming as well. Popular battle royale game, PUBG Mobile is also under the scanner of the Chinese government. Tencent Games has reportedly come up with new measures like a digital lock system to restrict underage PUBG Mobile players. The company is said to have deployed facial recognition to check and identify players’ age on games like Honour of Kings.

ByteDance and Tencent Games are under the radar in India as well. TikTok and PUBG Mobile both face a potential ban in India with the matter still pending in court. In the latest development, Google and Apple have been ordered to remove TikTok from their platforms.

First Published: Apr 16, 2019 20:13 IST