Beijing has started a three-month campaign to scrutinize the
city's 1,007 licensed Internet cafes.
The aim of the campaign is to get cyber cafes to run in an
orderly manner by severely punishing illegal operators, the Beijing
Times reported yesterday.
Back in 2004, the country also launched a nationwide campaign to
rectify Internet cafes breaking government rules by shutting down
50,000 cyber cafes operating without a license.
However, according to a recent report from the China Radio
International, the malpractice of illegal cyber cafes in urban
suburbs, small towns and the countryside remains a problem.
The paper said the drive, started on Wednesday by the city's
bureaus of culture, public security, industry and commerce, mainly
targets those bars breaking government rules on Internet management
and admitting minors, a rising concern in the Chinese capital
There are about 4 million Internet surfers in Beijing, or almost
one in every three residents, the daily paper said.
Once found breaking government rules, the paper noted, Internet
cafes will face three types of punishment.
A cyber cafe which admits minors twice or three minors at one
time will be ordered to stop business for two weeks while a cafe
that permits eight minors at one time or allows minors in twice
will have its business license revoked.
Meanwhile, those Internet cafes breaking government rules or
running without a business license will be made public through the
media, the Beijing Times said.
Currently, the city requires cyber cafe operators to register
the identity of users in order to forbid minors coming for a visit
and to filter unhealthy web content.
The city's authorities have opened a round-the-clock hotline
12318 to receive public reports, the paper said, noting that people
offering tips will be rewarded.
The State Information Development Strategy (2006-20), which was
published on Monday by the General Office of the Communist Party of
China Central Committee and the General Office of the State
Council, has called for enhancing the country's capability of
applying information technology among the public.
According to the document, there are now about 670,000 websites
on the Chinese mainland with some 103 million net surfers.
According to a report yesterday in the Beijing-based daily
newspaper The First, the north China municipality intends to
"completely wipe out" the rampant malpractice among the city's
Internet cafes, especially the practice of running without a
license and admitting minors.
(China Daily May 12, 2006)