China Clamps Down on Online Activities, Including Gaming, Social Media | #socialmedia


As part of a larger shift aimed at youth, Chinese authorities announce tighter restrictions on video games, social media and other online activities.

Over the course of 2021, China cracked down on mainstream culture where the country’s youth were involved. As a result, heavy and controversial restrictions were placed on video games, pop-culture and social media– restrictions that have recently grown even tighter.

Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) announced regulation that would require service providers to implement a “youth mode” with limits placed on how long young users can spend on the Internet, how much they can spend on online purchases and how often they can make purchases. Companies will also need to provide a relief system for young victims of internet abuse and publish an annual social responsibility report. Hardware developers will also need to comply.


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The changes stem from concerns raised at China’s annual parliamentary meeting, known as the Two Sessions. There legislators discussed minors overspending online for video games and streamers. It should be noted that the regulations are not yet in effect and are currently awaiting feedback until April 13. Despite the fact that the restrictions are not yet law, major tech companies including Tencent and ByteDance have already begun to introduce a “youth mode.”

As mentioned, the Communist Party-ruled government has rolled out a variety of restrictions targeting minors over the past year. In August, it was announced that minors in China would be prohibited from playing more than an hour of online video games on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and public holidays. This hour of playing will be restricted from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Local game developers and publishers were also instructed to help enforce the restrictions. These restrictions were met with immense backlash online.


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All of this comes as part of a wider cultural shift launched during the Chinese Communist Party’s centennial. The content of video games, films, television and more were limited, with the industry instructed to focus on certain themes intended to promote what the Party continue to describe as “a correct set of values.” The guidelines included themes that should be avoided, the requirement for clear moral boundaries in media and added LGBTQ+ characters and stories and representations of “effeminacy” in its censorship list.

The government’s crackdown on entertainment is intended to tackle video game addiction, celebrity idolization and influences which the Chinese Communist Party does not approve of. As a result, on top of the regulations concerning video games, film and TV, several celebrities have been wiped from media and even tutoring outside of school has been limited.


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Source: South China Morning Post

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