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China Closes 1,600 Internet Cafes
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Zhang Xinjian, deputy director of the Ministry of Culture's Market, announced at the weekend that 1,600 Internet cafes were closed down between February and August and 100 million yuan (US$12 million) in fines imposed for allowing minors to play violent or adult-only games.


Some 1.8 million outlets were inspected, and 18,000 ordered to suspend operations pending correction of cited problems.


Zhang commented that pornography, gambling and violence have adversely affected the healthy development of the Internet in China.


The crackdown comes amid a nationwide push to limit violence and pornography on the Internet that has seen the government shut down hundreds of Websites.


As of July this year -- just a decade after the Internet first appeared in the country -- some 87 million Chinese were going online, making China the second largest user nation in the world.


Nearly 40 percent of Internet users are under the age of 24, according to China Internet Network Information Center (CINIC).


(CRI, China.org.cn November 1, 2004)

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