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Shanghai regulations to better protect minors
By:China Daily
update:February 25,2022
Primary school students do their homework with the help of volunteers at a day care service center in Caohejing, Xuhui district in Shanghai. [Photo/Xinhua]
Shanghai's municipal legislature recently prohibited the provision of cosmetology services to minors without the consent of their parents or guardians and revised other city regulations to better protect minors.
The other revisions to the regulations, which will take effect next month, include a ban on offering tattoo services to minors and clarification of the responsibilities of various parties to protect minors in cyberspace.
The revisions are in line with the Law on Protection of Minors and address new situations faced by the young, said Kang Rui, a member of the standing committee of the Shanghai Municipal People's Congress.
Kang said the number of disputes in Shanghai related to cosmetology services has been surging as medical beauty procedures have become popular among young people.
"It's time to regulate the market through legislation for the protection of minors," she said.
In regard to cyberspace, the revised regulations clarify the responsibilities of government departments, schools, families, and internet service and product providers to strengthen the protection of youngsters and prevent internet addiction.
According to official data, there were 183 million netizens under the age of 18 in China in 2020, while Xinhua News Agency has reported that over a third of primary school students have accessed the internet before entering schools.
Online platforms must prioritize social responsibilities when targeting young users, according to the newly revised regulations.
China has promoted a "teen mode" setting that restricts content, features and viewing time, but Shanghai will make it mandatory for all online services to offer such settings.
The regulations also stipulate the use of technologies such as electronic identity authentication to improve internet safety for minors.
Zong Jiaqi, a high school student at Xiwai International School affiliated with Shanghai International Studies University, said teen mode restrictions could be evaded.
"The password for switching teen mode on and off is too simple, generally four digits and with no limit on the number of failed login attempts," Zong said. "Kids who are familiar with digital products and their parents find it is not that difficult to crack the code."
Zhang Qingyun, another Shanghai high school student, told online news outlet ThePaper.cn that further regulation of online games to protect minors is imperative.
"Some themes should be banned in games for children and adolescents," he said, citing a classmate's experience with a scary online game.
"She told me that she would think of the crazy female characters who committed suicide in a horrible way in the game whenever she saw someone wearing a similar white bowknot," Zhang said.
The regulations also stipulate that online service providers must ban minors from tipping the hosts of online social platforms and prohibit those under 16 from doing live broadcasting.

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