Taiwanese Children Banned From Free Internet Use

By Victoria Kim 02/03/15

Taiwan has taken steps to curb Internet addiction among its youth.

Asian Internet Gaming Cafe

The unrestricted use of electronic devices is now illegal for children in Taiwan.

In an attempt to protect young people from China’s Internet addiction crisis, legislation was passed last month banning children under the age of two from using electronic devices, and those under 18 from constantly using "electronic products for a period of time that is not reasonable.”

However, it’s yet unclear what amount of time is considered “not reasonable.” Those who don’t abide by the new rules face fines of up to $1,595.

Taiwanese member of parliament Lu Shiow-yen conceived the new rules, saying it was his intention to protect young people by stopping them from using electronic devices for more than 30 minutes at a time.

China and Japan are also struggling to contain the Internet addiction crisis. China has 648 million Internet users and at least 24 million young “web junkies.”

In 2010, Beijing introduced rules requiring gaming companies to “develop techniques that would limit the gaming time of minors in order to prevent Internet addiction,” which include penalizing those playing online role-playing games by reducing their characters’ abilities if they play for more than a certain period of time.

Last year, a government survey in Japan revealed some 4.21 million adults are addicted to the Internet. In 2013, the government announced that “Internet-fasting camps” will address the problem, which was estimated to affect around 518,000 children at middle and high schools across Japan.

In China, there were as many as 250 military-style boot camps designed to wean young people off their addiction to the Internet, as of last year.

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr