New draft law looks to protect Chinese teens online
By Zhang Meng

2017-01-07 12:55 GMT+8

The Internet is an incredibly powerful tool which has revolutionized the way young people learn and stay in touch with each other. However, with such power comes great responsibility -  it’s crucial to deal with the growing problem of Internet addiction in youngsters, as well as how to keep teenagers safe online from issues like cyber-bullying and crime.
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Chinese authorities on Friday released a full-report and draft regulation that sets out how it plans to protect teenagers and children online, including measures on how to provide a safe cyberspace, as well as efforts to combat Internet addiction. The public is invited to comment and give its opinion on the draft law via an official government website.
The draft law, published by the Cyberspace Administration of China, proposes that smartphones are installed with "child-lock" apps and software to protect children online before they leave the factory.
The draft regulation would also see under-18s banned from playing online games from midnight to 8 a.m., in a curfew aimed at stopping juvenile Internet addiction.
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Moreover, the draft regulation states that no organization or individual is allowed to threaten, insult or hurt minors online with words, pictures or video, according to Xinhua News Agency.
The draft law drew public attention as soon as it surfaced. Some Internet users applauded the law as a way for China to better protect its juveniles online, while others wondered whether it would be practicable if it came into effect, as teenagers would just borrow IDs to visit internet bars to play online games.
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China has the world’s largest Internet user population, with some 700 million people now online, and 90.1 percent of teenagers are said to be using the Internet, according to a recent report.
For years the government has been working to restrict many types of online content, but there’s still a long way to go in terms of providing a safe online environment, especially for the young generation.