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Beijing Internet Cafes Ordered to Stop Operation for Rectification

All Beijing-based Internet cafes will stop operation since Sunday for rectification as part of local efforts to guarantee safe operation, announced Beijing Mayor Liu Qi at an emergency meeting on safe production held Sunday morning after a cyber cafe fire killed 24 persons and injured 13.

Local government had launched a campaign to regulate the Internet cafes and set June as "month of safe production" before the accident.

Meanwhile, a three-month long anti-fire inspection will be conducted in all Beijing-based enterprises and various measures will be taken to safeguard safe operation, according to Liu.

Operation licenses will not be granted to any new Internet cafes in the future and those that have obtained legal certificates should re-register with relevant government administrations for inspection, the mayor said.

According to Liu Qi, illegal Internet cafes will be severely punished. Operation certificates of legal cyber cafes that fail tomeet relevant requirements will be revoked and problem-cafes will be recorded in a local supervision databank on corporate credibility.

Sources say that 2,200 out of the 2,400 Beijing-based cyber cafes have been operating illegally.

Measures will also be taken to ensure safety in public places and smooth operation of public services such as subway and gas. Enditem

(Xinhua News Agency June 17, 2002)

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