The Beijing city government will no longer accept applications to launch new education apps for preschool children and will remove existing ones, as China’s crackdown on private tutoring continues.
According to the South China Morning Post, tutoring apps targeting all ages shall not provide “negative or undesirable information”, “nor shall they contain gaming links or ads”, according to a regulation co-issued by the municipal education, cyberspace and communications administrations on Monday. The draft rule was published in February.
The official regulation is the latest move by Chinese authorities to reduce screen time and addiction to smartphones among kids, which is seen by the government as a social problem that must be tackled.
Learn-and-play apps aimed at toddlers have been popular in the country, with many private tutoring institutions developing apps targeted at this segment.
While IPC International Preschools hold the view that apps can be beneficial in specific ways, it should not be used in reliance.
At IPC, “learning development includes hands-on play learning where children are able to not only benefit from the academic learning, but also the social and emotional aspects.”