China regulates large online platforms to offer modes or set up special room for minors
Published: Oct 27, 2023 09:15 PM
A community volunteer explains internet safety knowledge to children in Hefei, Anhui Province on July 29, 2020. Photo: VCG

A community volunteer explains internet safety knowledge to children in Hefei, Anhui Province on July 29, 2020. Photo: VCG

China's regulations to protect minors in cyberspace require large online platforms to do their part in protecting minors online, including conducting impact assessments, providing modes for minors, or setting up special rooms for minors, an official with the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said at Friday's press briefing. The regulations will come into effect on January 1, 2024.

These regulations, which include establishing and improving a system for minors' online protection, are conducive to further consolidating the main responsibilities of large online platforms and promoting the healthy development of the platform economy, said Li Changxi, director general of the Bureau of Law-Based Cyberspace Governance of the CAC.

Chinese Premier Li Qiang has signed an order of the State Council to issue a set of regulations to protect minors in cyberspace. The regulatory document, comprising 60 articles in seven chapters, will come into effect on January 1, 2024, according to an official statement.

The regulations establish corresponding systems in terms of promoting internet literacy, regulating internet content, protecting personal information online, and preventing internet addiction. It clarifies the obligations of internet product and service providers in protecting minors on the internet, and regulates the related management requirements.

Relevant works have been carried out, for instance, in order to prevent the addiction of minors in online games, live-streaming broadcasting and other sectors, products and service providers have launched an upgraded anti-addiction system, to upgrade the "juvenile mode" to "minors' mode," according to the official.

The country has always attached great importance to the online protection of minors, and maintains a "zero tolerance" approach and resolutely cracks down on illegal and criminal activities in accordance with the law and regulation.

From January 2020 to September this year, China's procuratorial authorities filed charges against 11,600 adults suspected of using telecommunications networks to commit crimes against minors. China's Supreme People's Procuratorate has released guiding cases, in response to issues such as coercing underage girls to take nude photos through online chatting, establishing the principle that non-physical sexual harassment is equivalent to offline crimes and can be prosecuted. More than 3,000 criminals have been prosecuted so far, the authorities said during the press briefing.

As the rapid development of the internet has expanded the space for minors to live and learn, it has also sparked society-wide attention to minors' protection in cyberspace.

Cyberbullying behaviors targeting minors by any organizations or individuals are prohibited. It requires web product and service providers to set up and improve mechanisms for early warning, detection and response to cyberbullying, Xinhua News Agency reported.

As of June, the number of internet users in China reached 1.079 billion, while the number of minor internet users exceeded 191 million, according to media reports.

Global Times