ByteDance's new app limits young Chinese users to 40 minutes a day

TikTok's parent company also said that another app, Douyin, would limit daily usage times for those under 14

Beijing technology company ByteDance's Xiao Qu Xing, or 'Little Fun Star', app will focus on educational topics. Photo: ByteDance
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ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, has introduced a new platform for Chinese youth that sets strict controls on daily usage.

Bloomberg reports that the app, called Xiao Qu Xing or “Little Fun Star”, offers a personalised feed of short videos that cover educational topics such as science, art history and literature.

However, although users can like clips, they cannot upload their own or share.

Parents are able to adjust the usage time for children, up to 40 minutes a day.

Last week, it was also announced that Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, upgraded its youth mode to limit daily usage time to a maximum of 40 minutes for those under the age of 14. It also banned access to the app from 10pm to 6am.

"If you are a user aged under 14, you'll discover that you're already in 'youth mode' when you open the app," the company said.

This comes amid news that China was trying to take a stand against online addiction among younger users.

In August, it was announced that children would be banned from playing online games for more than three hours a week. A notice from the General Administration of Press and Publication stated that minors in China could play games only between 8pm and 9pm on Fridays, weekends and public holidays.

The restrictions are part of a crackdown on technology companies, amid concerns that such businesses – many of which provide ubiquitous messaging, payments and gaming services – may have an outsized influence on society.

The Chinese authorities in recent months have also targeted e-commerce and online education, and have brought in new regulations to curb anti-competitive behaviour after years of rapid growth in the technology sector.

Updated: September 20, 2021, 10:12 AM