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Court calls for stronger protections for juvenile internet users

By Cao Yin | | Updated: 2023-05-25 22:24
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The Beijing Internet Court said it has seen a rising number of cases involving children over the past four years, mainly covering livestreaming and online games.

The court issued a report on Thursday showing the number of cases regarding juveniles increased to 123 last year, up from 12 in 2019. It also revealed there have been 49 of these disputes in the first five months of this year.

From June 2022 to May, the court heard a total of 143 juvenile cases, of which more than 38 percent were related to topping up online game accounts and paying for livestreaming hosts, the report said, adding children's internet consumption was mainly focused on entertainment.

During this period, the youngest litigant involved in the cases was just 6.

In addition to disputes caused by online consumption, it said some lawsuits were initiated over arguments or bullying among juveniles in cyberspace.

While calling for streaming operators to strengthen management of hosts to prevent them from luring underage users, the court also suggested internet regulators intensify supervision on e-commerce platforms to prohibit them from providing recharge service for games for children.

As juveniles are a major group of internet users, the court said it has established five teams to specialize in handling internet cases involving minors.

While efficiently solving disputes to help guide juveniles to surf the internet in a civilized manner, the court added it has also provided online and offline activities to educate children and enhance their legal awareness.

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