Following Chinese authorities’ crackdown on gaming, ByteDance is adding additional young restrictions for TikTok and Douyin a TikTok-equivalent app in China, according to Bloomberg. Users who are confirmed to be under the age of 14 will be placed in a new “youth mode” with a daily use limit of 40 minutes.
The app’s youth mode conforms new limitations on video game access for younger children. Teens under the age of 14 will be permitted to use between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., but will not be able to use the app outside of that time frame, according to the firm. The regulations will apply to “real-name authenticated users” under the age of 14, and the firm urged parents to assist their children in completing the real-name authentication procedure or activating youth mode when asked by the app.
ByteDance has developed a new TikTok-like app for youngsters called Xiao Qu Xing, which literally translates as “little fun star” as another alternative for parents. Xiao Qu Xing, like Douyin’s youth mode, includes instructional content that restricts users to up to 40 minutes per day, with the default for weekdays set at 30 minutes. In the settings, parents may limit that time even lower, to only 15 minutes each day.
Gaming restrictions imposed earlier this month have been tightened even further, with under-14s restricted to just three hours a week between 8 and 9 p.m. on Fridays, weekends, and public holidays. Previously, children could play video games for 90 minutes each day and three hours on weekends and vacations. According to authorities, the regulation modification was implemented to prevent gaming addiction.
Game developers have downplayed the new rule’s impact, claiming that minors do not constitute a substantial percentage of their earnings. Tencent Holdings, the world’s largest video game business by revenue, claimed that in its home market, gamers under the age of 16 accounted for only 2.6 percent of its gross gaming revenue. Minors, according to Bilibili, generated barely 1% of its gaming income.
It also acknowledged that the new rules might be easily circumvented. “As the first short video platform to introduce minimal protection measures, we fully realize that there will be flaws,” the business stated in a statement. To that purpose, it has started a bug-finding effort aimed at identifying “loopholes” in the login process.