China should better protect minors on the internet – People’s Daily

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SHANGHAI — China should better protect minors from the dangers of the internet, according to an opinion article in the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, published on Wednesday.

The article follows the publication on Tuesday of a story in the state-backed Economic Information Daily that called online games “spiritual opium.” The piece went viral and caused the share price of gaming designer Tencent Holdings Ltd to fall 6.1%.

The publisher later re-posted the piece with the phrase “spiritual opium” removed.

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The author of the People’s Daily piece http://paper.people.com.cn/rmrbhwb/html/2021-08/04/content_3061557.htm, Zhao Yichen, praised recent laws designed to protect minors on the web, citing the dangers of certain online media.

“For example, some online games and webcasts are full of vulgarity, violence and other elements that endanger the physical and mental health of minors,” Zhao wrote.

“In the era of new media, ‘network protection’ for minors is not only as simple as ‘preventing addiction.’ New problems caused by new internet applications make the protection of minors online urgent.” (Reporting by Josh Horwitz; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)