The age of Chinese netizens is becoming younger and younger. A recent survey suggests that over 98 percent of minors in China have started using the Internet, reports China News.
The report, which was released on September 10, is a collaboration between China Youth Development Service Center and China National Youth Palace Association. Data for the report comes from a survey undertaken with more than 100 primary and middle schools throughout the country in 2017.
By comparing and analyzing the statistics in the past 10 years, researchers found that the age range for using the Internet has continuously lowered. Approximately 72 percent of youngsters started their Internet surfing before the age of 10, while the figure only reached 55.9 percent back in 2010. In addition, more than a quarter of the interviewees confessed to beginning Internet usage before the age of seven.
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The early exposure to the Internet is reflective of the popularization of cell phones among minors. The results reveal that 75.4 percent of youngsters (18 years and below) in China own a smartphone. Among them, the figures for primary, middle and high school students amounts to 64.2 percent, 71.3 percent and 86.9 percent, respectively.
Nowadays, smartphone have become an inseparable tool for students. A significant number of minors admitted in the survey that the Internet helps them immensely, when it comes to homework. Moreover, nearly half of the youngsters now gain their access to the news via WeChat. The usage rate of WeChat in youth has climbed to 84.6 percent, nearly doubled what the figure was four years ago.
As powerful as the Internet is, there is no denying that it also has consequences for minors in China. According to a survey conducted by China Youth earlier this year, over 70 percent of Chinese youth are found to suffer from myopia, with addiction to cell phones being the dominant factor.
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