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New internet bars forbidden in 2007
Latest Updated by 2007-03-07 09:21:19
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New internet bars forbidden in 2007

China will not allow any new Internet bars to open in 2007, according to a joint directive issued on March 3 by 14 government departments including the Ministry of Culture, State Administration for Industry and Commerce and Ministry of Information Industry. The directive added that any Internet bars approved prior to 2007 must be completed before June 30, 2007.

There are currently about 113,000 Internet bars in China, according to the Ministry of Information Industry.

The notice further confirmed that anyone under 18 is not allowed inside Internet bars. Any Internet bar found in breach of this law on two occasions will be closed for 15 days and fined. A third offence will see their business license revoked. However, such administrative regulations are not carried out seriously in some areas.

School-run Internet bars must be directly managed by the school, with no drive for profit-making or leasing to private individuals, the notice stated.

Yu Wen, a Chinese lawmaker, encouraged the drafting of a law specifically targeted at better regulating the operation of Internet bars to better protect teenagers.

A deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC), Yu called for more effective measures to help keep teenagers out of Internet bars.

"It is common to see students from primary and middle schools lingering in Internet bars overnight, puffing on cigarettes and engrossed in online games," said Yu, also chief executive officer of Xi'an-based Kami Co., Ltd. in northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

A never-ending drive for profit has made many Internet bars allow teenagers into their premises, even selling cigarettes and alcohol in blatant defiance of government decrees, Yu noted.

Teenage Internet addiction has become a real social problem. Figures from the China National Children's Center last year claimed that up to 13 percent of the 18 million Chinese Internet users under 18 are Internet addicts.

A further worrying report emanated from the Beijing Institute for juvenile delinquents showed that 33.5 percent of its inmates committed crimes, mostly robbery and rape, which were directly influenced by violent online games or erotic Web sites.

A law is necessary to enforce the supervision over Internet bars, Yu said, adding that "good supervision of Internet bars is essential to the healthy growth of younger generations."

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website
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