Senior Chinese official urges tightened management over Internet cafes

A senior Chinese official has called for strengthened management over Internet cafes and Internet gaming.

"Illegally-operated Internet bars are still rampant although measures to regulate these venues have been carried out by government departments," said State Councilor Chen Zhili on Tuesday at a meeting on Internet cafe management.

"The key is to prohibit Internet cafes from catering to underage customers. Illegally-run Internet bars must be closed down," Chen said.

Over the past few years, China has seen an alarming rise of teenagers becoming addicted to Internet cafes and gaming, Chen said.

A recent report released by the China National Children's Center shows that more than 13.2 percent of Chinese Internet users under the age of 18 suffer from Internet addiction.

China introduced an anti-addiction gaming system last October, which allows only five hours of consecutive playtime.

Official statistics show that the number of China's Internet users reached 123 million by the end of the first half of this year, and 18.3 million were under the age of 18, accounting for 14.9 percent of the total.

Source: Xinhua

People's Daily Online ---