China Bans New Internet Cafes

Posted: March 6, 2007 by Kendricke in International

Internet addiction in China's burgeoning cybercafe industryAs reported by the AP:

BEIJING, China (AP) — China will not allow any new Internet cafes to open this year, state media reported on Tuesday.

Xinhua News Agency said 14 government departments, including the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Information Industry, had issued a notice saying that “in 2007, local governments must not sanction the opening of new Internet bars.”

It said there are about 113,000 Internet cafes in China. Many are smoke-filled rooms with rows of computers set up for online gaming.

The Chinese government promotes Internet use for education and business but tries to block its public from seeing material online that is deemed subversive or pornographic…

Obviously this doesn’t outright close the existing internet cafes within the country, but it could be a first step toward a larger crackdown.

It’s not as if China feels that online gaming is perfectly fine.  China has started up clinics to combat the growing issue of “internet addiction”:

Dr Tao Ran, head of the clinic, said the scale of the problem in China was enormous:

“Every day in China, more than 20 million youngsters go online to play games and hit the chat rooms, and that means that internet addiction among young people is becoming a major issue here.

“And it’s only recently that the authorities have started to wake up to the seriousness of the problem with more articles in the papers highlighting the dangers of going online for too long,” he said.

Seems that Chinese officials aren’t too keen on seeing more and more of their young revolutionaries growing up to be bored American suburbanites.  Personally, I’d expect to see even harsher penalties levied in the future.

  1. […] we mentioned back in March, China had already banned new internet cafes this year.  Incoming:  Sensationalist and […]

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