Beijing prosecutors have recently filed a civil public-interest lawsuit against a Tencent subsidiary, stating that the "youth mode" on the multi-purpose messaging and social media app of the company, WeChat, does not act in accordance with the laws safeguarding minors.
According to a filing posted on JCRB.com, the lawsuit was filed against Shenzhen Tencent Computer Systems Co. Ltd. by Beijing's Haidian District People's Procuratorate. However, it did not reveal how WeChat's "youth mode" was not complying with Chinese laws.
In the popular social messaging app, once you turn on the "youth mode," it restricts the access of minor users to certain games and features such as finding nearby friends and payments. Chinese authorities and the state media have also criticized social media's celebrity culture and have called out online platforms and the video gaming industry for promoting it as it has the potential of negatively influencing minors.
Following criticism from Economic Information Daily and after its shares fell by more than 10 percent, Tencent also announced new restrictions on the access of minors to its flagship video game, "Honor of Kings". According to Reuters, China is putting together a considerable fine for Tencent as part of its extensive antitrust crackdown on the internet giants of the country.