China's cyberspace regulator is set to limit children under the age of 18 to a maximum of two hours a day on smartphones, prompting a sharp drop in tech companies' shares. The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has said smart device makers want to introduce a minor mode program that could prevent users under the age of 18 from accessing the internet on mobile devices between 10pm and 6am.
Along with this, these companies will also have to set a deadline. In China, 16- to 18-year-old users will be allowed to spend two hours a day on mobile phones, eight to 16-year-old users will be allowed one hour, and children under eight will only be allowed to spend eight minutes a day. In this regard, public feedback has been sought by September 2.
Due to this decision of CAC, the shares of Chinese technology companies have fallen drastically. Shares of Tencent Holdings, which operates the social networking app V Chat, fell by 2.99 percent. Besides, the shares of Bilibili and Kuaisu decreased by 6.98 and 3.53 percent respectively.
Xia Helong, a lawyer at law firm Shanghai Shenlun, said the new rules would be a headache for Internet companies. Authorities are concerned about the rise of myopia and Internet addiction among Chinese youth in the past few years. The Chinese government banned video game players under the age of 18 about two years ago. This caused huge losses to big gaming companies like Tencent.