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China to ban minors from playing online games from midnight to 8am

(People's Daily Online)    16:58, February 06, 2017

China is planning to ban online games for minors from midnight to 8:00 am, according to a draft regulation on the protection of minors issued by the Office of the Central Leading Group for Cyberspace Affairs on Jan. 6.

According to the draft, all people under the age of 18 will not be allowed to use online game services from midnight to 8:00 am.

Experts believe it will be a powerful measure to prevent minors’ Internet addiction. But implementation of the policy requires not only users’ registration information, but a verification and recognition system for minors.

By June 2016, the total number of China's netizens who are minors reached 160 million, accounting for 23 percent of the country's netizens.

Given that 90.1 percent of minors in the country have online access, the online world has a profound influence on them. Therefore, the prevention of Internet addiction among minors has become an important issue for the country.

Liu Chunquan, a lawyer from a law firm in Shanghai, believes the country should implement such measures, since minors are unable to effectively control themselves, and addiction to online games may harm their mental and physical health.

However, China Youth University of Political Studies Vice President Lin Wei told Legal Weekly that implementation of the "midnight ban" should be based on a series of supporting mechanisms, such as users’ registration information. Lin said the ban would be less effective if it fails to identify minors from adult users.

Parents should also fulfill their duty in addition to technical monitoring, Lin added. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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