Friday, March 18, 2011

China closes 130,000 Internet cafes as it seeks more control

I spent a month teaching in China last year. I learned that what the rest of the world thinks about these actions is very different than what the Chinese people think. We may think of it as oppressive but they look at it as the government protecting their people. A month in one part of China does not make me any kind of an expert so I'm just stating what many people told me while I was over there.


By Michael Kan, IDG News Service

China shut down more than 130,000 illegal Internet cafes in the country over a six year period, as part of crackdown to control the market, according to a new Chinese government report.

Internet cafes in China are highly regulated by the government, which can issue and revoke their licenses. Authorities have made it illegal for Internet cafes to serve minors under the age of 18, stating that the Web's content could endanger their well-being.

Last April, the Ministry of Culture issued new rules declaring that Internet cafes would be closed down if they were found admitting minors.

The Ministry of Culture said it will make the report public in a month's time. But in statements made to China's official Xinhua News Agency, the ministry said it is continuing to promote Internet cafe chains, while enforcing rules to stop the establishment of independently run Internet cafes. The ministry also plans on instituting harsher penalties for Internet cafes found admitting minors.

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