Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, limits children to 40 minutes per day

The measure will apply to all Douyin users under the age of 14 who have registered for the app using their real name, Beijing-based ByteDance said in a statement on Saturday.

Douyin will also be unavailable for these users between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., the owner of TikTok and Douyin added.

The company also urged parents to help their children register with real names, or otherwise manually activate “teenager mode”. ByteDance did not immediately respond to a question from CNN Business about how it might enforce the policy for those who don’t use their real names.

The app also said it would introduce new content – ranging from science experiments and museums to art gallery exhibits and natural landscapes – to “inspire” young teens.

Limiting the use of Douyin is a ByteDance’s “proactive step” to get ahead of potential regulation, analysts at Citigroup Global Markets wrote in a research note on Monday. They suggested that the decision could pushing other Internet platforms with short video content to consider implementing similar restrictions.

“Self-assessment and voluntary implementation of child protection measures by more platforms could help suggest that platforms are more socially responsible and potentially reassure parents and regulators” they added.

Douyin had at least 490 million users as of November 2020, according to media research firm iiMedia Research.

Chinese regulators have already started pressuring tech companies to reduce the time miners spend on their services.

In June, China revised its “law on the protection of minors,” which requires internet service providers – including social media applications – to “implement corresponding functions such as time management, restriction content and consumption limits for minors ”.
Douyin Kuaishou’s rival – who is supported by Tencent (TCEHY) – introduced a similar parameter for minors in 2019.
China’s pressure on tech companies is part of scanning New regulations on companies focused on the next generation, from a strong repression of private lessons to online game rules.
Last month, the country banned online gamers under the age of 18 from playing on weekdays and limited their play to just three hours on most weekends.

– CNN’s Beijing office contributed to this report.

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