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