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Authorities Act to Prevent Teenage Internet Addiction
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As the Internet and online games continue to spread through Chinese society, the authorities have announced measures to prevent the country's teenagers from becoming addicted to the Internet.

"We should make great efforts to develop 'green' on-line games, which are suitable for teenagers, and actively recommend them to teenagers," said a statement jointly published by the Civilization Office with the Spiritual Civilization Steering Committee, the Central Committee of Communist Youth League of China, the State Press and Publication Administration, the Ministry of Information Industry and the Ministry of Culture.

The ten measures listed in the statement include the compilation and publication of decent books and movies and the organization of Internet-related activities for teenagers.

The authorities said they would encourage young game players to set up alliances in a bid to promote healthy on-line entertainment.

A 2005 survey showed 13 percent of young Internet users were addicts and 90 percent of juvenile crimes related to Internet addiction.

Experts said violence, online chatting, pornography and online gambling were major attractions.

The statement announced that technical methods would be explored and applied to prevent teenagers from being harmed by unhealthy on-line information and help teenagers out of Internet addiction.

The authorities would also help set up more rehabilitation and treatment agencies for addicted youth. Response centers would be established to deal with complaints and reports of unhealthy on-line behavior.

China, with 111 million Internet users, is the world's second largest Internet market after the United States.

(Xinhua News Agency October 9, 2006)

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