BEIJING, April 2 (Reuters) – China’s education ministry will tighten rules to protect children’s sleep by restricting online education and gaming services, it said on Friday.
In a statement posted on the ministry’s website, he said online education companies should not offer live lessons to minors after 9 p.m.
The ministry also said companies should not provide minors with online gambling services between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.
“Sleep is essential for promoting brain development, bone growth, protection of vision, physical and mental health, and improving the learning ability and efficiency of elementary and secondary school students,” a- he declared.
Investors have increased their bets on China’s online education sector, which has sparked growing interest after the coronavirus outbreak sparked a widespread shift to distance learning.
Leading startups in the field include GSX, Yuanfudao backed by Tencent and Zuoyebang backed by Alibaba.
China has also stepped up efforts to regulate the online gaming industry, citing concerns over potentially violent and addictive gaming, putting pressure on companies such as Tencent and Netease.
Reporting by Yingzhi Yang, Sophie Yu, Yilei Sun and Tony Munroe Editing by David Goodman