Age restrictions set on livestream viewing and purchases in China

“People’s Esports” (人民电竞), a branch of People’s Daily, announced a set of restrictions for minors viewing and spending money on livestreams—typically in the form of gifts for livestreamers—in China.

With this announcement, minors are now prohibited from viewing livestreams during the hours of 10 PM to 8 AM the next day. They are also limited to 1.5 hours of viewing time per day, with 3 hours per day allowed on official holidays.

According to the wording of the announcement, the platforms themselves are responsible for enforcing these rules, which shouldn’t be too difficult as registration is tied to users’ national ID cards (typically via their phone number or Wechat account).

The new law also includes restrictions for purchases on livestreaming platforms: children under 8 years old cannot make any purchases; 8- to 15-year-old users cannot spend more than 200 yuan (about 28 USD) per months; while 16- and 17-year-old users cannot exceed 400 yuan per month. There are no restrictions set for users 18 years old and above, as this is the age of legal adulthood in China.

Some Chinese netizens have pointed out that these restrictions will be relatively easy to get around by using a parent’s ID for registration, which is not an unusual practice for many people.

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