UPDATE 2-Beijing prosecutors take legal action against Tencent over WeChat’s “youth mode”

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BEIJING, Aug.6 (Reuters) – Beijing prosecutors on Friday filed a civil public interest action against a Tencent subsidiary, claiming that the “youth mode” of the company’s popular social messaging app WeChat is not not in accordance with laws protecting minors.

The lawsuit was initiated by the Beijing Haidian District People’s Procuratorate against Shenzhen Tencent Computer Systems Co Ltd, according to a file posted on JCRB.com, a website operated by China’s top prosecutor.

The document does not say how WeChat’s “youth mode” broke Chinese law. He said he could support other agencies and organizations that intended to sue the Tencent unit and asked them to contact the prosecutor’s office within 30 days.

Tencent did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

WeChat’s “young mode”, when enabled, limits young users’ access to certain games and functions, such as payments or finding nearby friends.

Chinese authorities have called for better protection of minors from online dangers, a sentiment echoed by state media this week which criticized the video game industry as well as online platforms that help promote the culture of children. celebrities.

Tencent on Tuesday announced new restrictions on minors’ access to its flagship video game, “Honor of Kings,” after its actions were beaten by a state media article that called online games “opium. spiritual”.

Reuters reported in April, citing people familiar with the matter, that China was preparing a substantial fine for Tencent as part of its broad antitrust crackdown on the country’s internet giants, but that it will likely be lower than the Record fine of $ 2.75 billion imposed on Alibaba. . (Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh in Beijing, and Twinnie Siu in Hong Kong Editing by Susan Fenton, Andrew Heavens and Jacqueline Wong)

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