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China sees Internet bars contraction


20:43, April 27, 2013

BEIJING, April 27 (Xinhua) -- The number of Internet bars in China fell in 2012 due to a boom in household broadband and mobile Internet.

The country had 136,000 cyberbars nationwide as of the end of 2012, a decrease of 6.9 percent year on year, according to an annual report on Internet bars released by the Ministry of Culture on Saturday.

It is the first decrease in eight years.

The revenue of Internet bars plummeted by 13.2 percent to 53.7 billion yuan (8.7 bln U.S. dollars), the report showed.

Booming mobile Internet, household broadband and the hiking up of operating costs contributed to the shrinking of the industry, said the report.

However, the total number of computers installed in Internet bars increased by 3.7 percent to 11.95 million, according to the report.

Internet bars employed more than 1.03 million people, the report said.

It predicted a further downward trend for the industry.

Online games and music remain the main reasons people go to Internet bars, the report said.

It suggested Internet bars enhance operations and integrate into games rooms and cafes to develop their business.

In China, children under the age of 18 are prohibited from visiting Internet bars. Last year, the Ministry of Culture investigated 34,200 cases concerning illegal operations of Internet bars, resolving over 31,600 of them, according to the report.

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