China’s cyberspace regulator said on Wednesday, August 2, 2023, that children under the age of 18 should be limited to a maximum of two hours a day on their smartphones, sending shares in tech companies tumbling.
According to Reuters, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said it wanted providers of smart devices to introduce so-called minor mode programmes that would bar users under 18 from accessing the internet on mobile devices from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Providers would also have to set time limits under the proposed reforms, the CAC said.
Users aged 16 to 18 would be allowed two hours a day, children aged eight to 16 would get one hour while children under eight would be allowed just eight minutes.
But the CAC said service providers should allow parents to opt out of the time limits for their youngsters.
Investors were not impressed.
Shares in Chinese tech firms mostly fell in afternoon trade in Hong Kong after the CAC published its draft guidelines, which it said were open to public feedback until Sept. 2.
Bilibili (9626. HK) and Kuaishou (1024. HK) slid 6.98% and 3.53% respectively while Tencent Holdings (0700. HK), which operates the social network app WeChat, closed 2.99% lower.