Google rolls out child-friendly apps in Taiwan


TAIPEI–Google Inc. launched a new section in its Google Play app store in Taiwan Monday that is designed to help parents find appropriate apps, games, books, movies and other digital content for their children.

Local visitors to Google Play’s homepage can now tap a ��family star�� button that will bring them to the new section of family-friendly apps that can be browsed by age range and let parents know which content includes advertising, Google said.

About 30 percent of all app users on the Google Play store are parents of children who are 12 years old or younger, according to the U.S. search engine.

��Google is sparing no effort to build a Web-based content platform that is appropriate for families,�� Google Taiwan Managing Director Chien Lee-feng said at a press event held jointly with the Child Welfare League Foundation.

Unveiled globally at Google’s annual developer conference May 28, the family-friendly update is part of the company’s initiative to build a more personalized user experience in the Google Play app store and play a bigger role in determining who is reached by software or apps.

Taiwan is one of the top five markets of the Google Play app store by revenue, helped by the increasing popularity of smartphones, which in turn has led to strong demand for mobile games, according to Google.

In a survey released Monday by the Child Welfare League Foundation on local children’s usage of the Internet, 57.4 percent of the respondents said they have their own computers and 47.9 percent have their own smartphones.

Taiwanese children are using 3C products mostly for browsing photo and video websites (93 percent), followed by playing games (81.7 percent) and visiting social networking sites (80.6 percent), the survey found.

Some 34.1 percent of the respondents said they have accessed pornographic or violent content when using 3C products, while 12.2 percent said they have searched for such content.

The survey was conducted between Dec. 22 last year and Jan. 20 this year among fifth- and sixth-grade students in elementary schools, with 1,440 valid samples obtained. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.0 percentage points and a 97 percent confidence level.