Charges that Tencent’s messaging-app WeChat’s Youth Mode does not comply with laws protecting minors were placed against the Chinese tech company by the country’s regulators and prosecutors have filed a civil legal action against the company already.
The Youth Mode of the chat dies not allow younger users from accessing payments, playing certain games and finding nearby friends.
However, exactly how the app is allegedly violating Chinese law was not specified by the prosecutors in Beijing.
It would “investigate” the claim, Tencent said.
“We will earnestly inspect and check the functions of WeChat Youth Mode, accept user suggestions humbly and sincerely respond to civil public-interest litigation,” the company posted on Weibo.
There are about 1.26 billion monthly active users in China of WeChat, which is known as Weixin in China.
With a state-media article describing online games as “spiritual opium” last week, calls for minors to be better protected from online dangers have been issued by Chinese authorities.
Shortly after the article was published last week, the stocks of Tencent dropped by more than 10 per cent. Following the article, the company had also quickly announced stricter limits for younger players and users of its hugely popular game Honour of Kings.
Under the changed rules for the game, young gamers will now be allowed access the game for only an hour a day on weekdays.
Previously, Chinese authorities had put a cap on playtimes of online games for younger users at 90 minutes on weekdays and three hours on weekends and holidays.
There are more than 100 million users worldwide of the mobile title.
There were reports previously in April about Chinese authorities engaged in preparing a substantial fine for Tencent as a part of the efforts of Chinese regulators to clamp down on home grown and domestic internet giants.
(Adapted from BBC.com)