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China bans new Internet cafes for a year

     
12:24 pm on Mar 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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from reuters [reuters.com]:
Fearful of soaring Internet addiction and juvenile crime, China has banned the opening of new Internet cafes this year, state media reported on Tuesday.

"In 2007, local governments must not sanction the opening of new Internet bars," Xinhua news agency on Tuesday quoted a directive jointly released by 14 government departments, including the Ministry of Culture, as saying.

The notice said Internet cafes that had received planning approval would need to be completed by June 30, 2007.

There are currently about 113,000 Internet cafes and bars in China, Xinhua said, citing the Ministry of Information Industry.

6:59 pm on Mar 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Cool, a new world of Internet speak-easys. You have to say the password to get admitted to the secret Internet cafe. Hidden in there is the forbidden world of games and information.

Seriously though, these authoritarian governments are going to have a hard time maintaining their authority when people get more information.

12:27 am on Mar 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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People I've spoken to in China have mentioned that this is a problem. There are constant stories on the news about issues involving these cafes and the cultures that they are breeding. Slowing down the creation of new cafes won't reverse this trend, but it may be all that they can do to slow it down.

Don't worry about people in China getting information. They have access to just about everything if they want it. The Great Firewall is far from impenetrable.

1:05 am on Mar 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Seriously though, these authoritarian governments are going to have a hard time maintaining their authority when people get more information.

No different than the US. Here we ban internet gambling for "sake of the people".
1:24 am on Mar 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Let's try to stay away from the Us vs. Them mentality if we can.

The issue is the culture that develops at these Internet Cafes among the youth. We have the same problem to a certain extent in Japan as well. These are cheap and accessible places where young people can gather without any supervision. It's especially a problem when the criminal element is introduced.

5:22 am on Mar 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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We have a similar problem in India. The police keep harassing young people who gather in these cafe's. They feel it is their job to ensure 'moral' values are adhered to.

Young and old people with their own computers are ofcourse free to do what they want.

I guess, the solution is to Ban sale of computers.. ;-)

12:25 pm on Mar 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The Internet/Computer is what kept my son off the streets. It is also how he wound up with a great job working as a game master. My son had this crazy idea that a person should not work at a job they don't like. Had it not been for the Internet he might not have ever left home!
12:48 pm on Mar 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Did your son grow up in the Internet cafe's of China? I've spent a bit of time in Internet cafes in Asia, and personally I don't think I'd let my kids frequent most of them.

I think we all agree here that the Internet is a great thing. It opens a lot of doors, but there are darker sides.

10:38 pm on Mar 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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It sounds to me from here in the UK that Asian Internet cafes attract the same sort of youthful slouch as shopping centres in the UK, only I'll bet there's a higher proportion of teenage girls in the the UK shopping centres than the Asian Internet cafes!

Rgds

Damon

11:32 pm on Mar 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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It sounds to me from here in the UK that Asian Internet cafes attract the same sort of youthful slouch as shopping centres in the UK

or bball hoops
or skateboard parks

those layabouts and ne'er-do-wells should all just stay home...

7:51 am on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Well at that age I stayed in, rather than 'hanging out', playing with my computers, and I'm not sure that that was healthier for me or the world around me.

Luckily I was living on a farm at the time, so I did get some fresh air and exercise regardless!

Rgds

Damon

1:48 am on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I'm not sure how much stopping new internet cafes from starting will do.. After all there are 3 within a block from my apt. Seriously instead of stopping new ones they could start cracking down on the internet cafes all using totally illegal games. Most cafes have around 40-50 computers with a nice array of copied games.

Its not surprising so many people flock to the internet cafes here, when I was 15 i played a lot at our little 20 computer internet cafe and that was at 5 USD per hour. Here its generally less then 37.5 Cents per hour!

 

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