China has 193 million underage netizens with penetration rate reaching 97.2% in 2022: report
Published: Dec 24, 2023 11:45 AM
Douyin Photo:VCG

Douyin Photo:VCG

China has 193 million of netizens aged between 6 to 18 by the end of 2022, with the internet penetration rate among minors reaching 97.2 percent. The scale of short video users has increased significantly, and the proportion of underage netizens who frequently watch short videos increased to 54.1 percent in 2022, according to a newly released report on national underage internet use unveiled on Saturday.

The report, jointly issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China and the China Internet Network Information Center, showed that internet has become a major channel for study with rapid development of digital education.

It revealed that the proportion of underage internet users who frequently play games online has reached 67.8 percent in 2022, an increase of 5.5 percentage points compared with 2021.

AI has attracted widespread attention from minors, with over 80 percent of underage internet users stating that they have heard of AI technology. The online safety environment for minors has significantly improved, with 72.4 percent of underage internet users stating that they have did not encounter any online security incidents in 2022.

Although the proportion of underage internet users playing games has increased, the majority of have a positive attitude toward the current management methods that restrict game time. About 61.5 percent of underage internet users believe that the current management methods of limiting game time have significantly reduced their own or their classmates' game-playing time.

On Friday, the National Press and Publication Administration of China released the draft of the "Regulations on the Management of Online Games" for public comment, with an administration official stating that the draft has the goal of safeguarding and promoting the healthy development of the online gaming industry and also includes provisions for the protection of minors and consumer rights.

The draft regulations state that online game publishing and operating units should establish and improve anti-addiction systems and must not provide products and services that lead to addiction. They should also promptly modify any content, features, or rules that may cause addiction among minors.

The report also said that short videos have been more popular among young netizens, with many commenting that they get news, have fun and spend idle time on short-video platforms, such as Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, Kuaishou and Bilibili. The proportion of underage internet users watching short videos has increased to 54.1 percent in 2022 from 40.5 percent in 2018.

A majority of juveniles said that they could identify new types of online scams and take the initiative to resist online bullying, the report said.

Global Times