The use of electric shock therapy, beatings, medications, and other abusive methods are to be banned to “treat internet addiction”, according to a new draft law released by Chinese State Council on January 6, 2017.
As of June 2016, China has 710 million Internet users, among them 160 million, or 23 percent, are under 19 years old.
A boot camp-like Internet Addiction Treatment Center was established in east China’s Shandong province in 2006. The founder Yang Yongxin developed an electrocuting therapy and has applied it to thousands of "patients" sent by their parents to the center.
A sixteen-year-old girl who was one of the “patients” sent by their parents to the camp in 2016 went back murdering her own mother after enduring abusive “treatment” at the center. The case drew much media attention to the abusive methods applied to kids who are considered by their parents being “internet-addicted".
According to the State Council Legislative Affairs Office, the new rules are aimed to solve teenagers’ internet addiction and four other major Internet related problems. According to the new draft law, gaming service providers will have to implement technical barriers to keep teenagers away from improper content, set limits to their daily maximum gaming time, and ban teenagers from gaming services from 12 a.m. to 8 a.m.