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TikTok owner Bytedance is set to bring in screen time caps for Douyin, the Chinese version of the phenomenally successful app, for users under 14 years old as Beijing continues to crack down on the influence of tech companies in the country.
According to a report in Bloomberg, Douyin made significant changes to its ‘youth’ mode last week, limiting daily usage time to a maximum of 40 minutes for those aged under 14 and also banning them from accessing the app from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
The company has now also rolled out a new youth-orientated version on Douyin, dubbed Xiao Qu Xing or ‘Little Fun Star,’ that, via its algorithm, promotes and prioritizes more educational videos and allows users to like but not upload their own clips.
To make sure the new caps are enforced, Douyin is asking parents to register their children with their real names and ages.
Bytedance’s move comes as Beijing continues its campaign to rein in China’s tech giants, who have variously been accused of a raft of offenses from breaking anti-competition and data protection rules to more nebulously sullying the morals of the country’s youth with their products.
In August, the ruling CCP passed strict regulations on video game consumption amongst youth, limiting playtime to three hours a week. The government has also sought to tackle fan culture by banning ‘effeminate’ boy bands and shutting down fan clubs dedicated to music and film stars on the most popular social media platforms.
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