Local governments across China have been ordered not to approve any Internet cafe operations in residential areas or within 200 meters of primary and high schools.
The General Administration for Industry and Commerce (GAIC), China's market watchdog, said Wednesday that currently in China, many Internet cafes, especially those without licenses, admit juveniles in violation of relevant regulations and spread unhealthy online information.
"They have brought great harm to the mental health of teenagers and interfered with the school teaching, which has aroused strong reactions from the public," said the GAIC.
The Chinese government has, therefore, launched a nationwide check on all Internet cafes from February to August so as to halt the entry of minors as well as to prevent access to detrimental information through the Internet, according to a circular released in February jointly by the Ministry of Culture, the GAIC, the Ministry of Public Security and other relevant government departments.
During the period, the government departments will take resolute, unyielding measures to enhance supervision over Internet cafe business and shut down those with no licenses. Any such place allowing juveniles to enter or allowing unhealthy information to spread through the Internet will face rigid, severe penalty.
(Xinhua News Agency March 25, 2004)