China to step up crackdown on internet cafes in rural areas

BY SILVI WRITER

China is to step up control of internet bars and cafes in rural areas, in a bid to create a healthy cyberspace community, as state-owned Xinhua News Agency said.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism requires local law enforcement authorities to intensify the crackdown on internet bars who admit minors, fail to check customers’ ID cards, and operate bars without a license.

The ministry said it will continue to strengthen the management of internet bars, step up routine inspections and improve the blacklist system.

Internet cafes are often forced to close due to violations of the law, including allowing minors to use their services. While urban cafes mostly abide by the law, many in the outskirts and rural areas, where supervision is slack, choose profits over compliance.

China’s internet cafes get a lot of bad press in Western media, most of which involves young people gaming for days on end and then passing.

Data showed that more than 490,000 law enforcement personnel across the country have inspected more than 190,000 bars, settled 3,573 cases, suspended 244 internet bars for rectification and revoked the licenses of 18 bars.

The ministry has blacklisted 52 internet bars whose licenses were revoked for admitting minors. The legal representatives or owners of these internet bars are forbidden from opening another Internet bar for five years.

The ministry said it will continue to strengthen the management of internet bars, step up routine inspections and improve the blacklist system.

chinese-internet-users-in-internet-cafe

Net cafes started off early in China as a means for the average man, especially those who do not have access to a personal computer, to go online. Nearly everywhere you go in China that has a steady internet connection, you will find an internet cafe.

Back in late 2015, the ministry said that there were more than 156,000 Internet cafes in the nation, with about 14,000 running illegally.

The report didn’t take into account the number of unregistered internet cafes. Net cafes operate under the local security bureaus and fall under the jurisdiction of the ministry just like video games do.

 

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