China's Ministry of Health is soliciting opinions from the public for a guideline on the use of the Internet by Chinese teenagers.
The guideline points out that it is necessary to for parents and schools to consult with a professional organization on whether a teenager is addicted to the Internet instead of making a judgment by themselves, and they shall ask for help from professional health organizations in six situations that may hint that the child has already had problems with Internet use.
The six situations are: the child has strong a desire or urge to use the Internet or tries to access to the Internet by any possible means; the child always indulges in recalling the experience of being online and anticipate surfing online as soon as possible; the child lies to relatives and teachers and refuses to disclose any information about his or her Internet use; the child tries to reduce the time spent on the Internet or wants to stay away from the network, but fails to do so; the child becomes irritable, worried, becomes easily angered or wearied when he or she is not using the Internet; or the child continues using the Internet even though he or she is aware of the negative effects of the network.
The guideline bans the treatment of network addiction by limiting the freedom of the child or imposing physical punishment on them. Meanwhile it states that mutilating surgery is strictly prohibited for treating a child suffering from network addiction.
It is understood that over 60% of Internet addicts in China are teenagers.