RealTime IT News

Chinese Internet Crackdown

The Chinese government shut down 1,600 Internet cafes between February and August of this year, according to China Radio International. The government also levied fines totaling more than $12 million for violations, including giving minors access to violent games and adult content.

According to the report, the Chinese Ministry of Culture has been inspecting the Internet cafes, many of which are small, unlicensed, entrepreneurial businesses. Of 1.8 million such operations inspected, 18,000 more were ordered to halt operations until they cleared up offending practices.

In March, the Chinese Ministry of Culture ordered local governments across China not to approve any Internet cafe operations within residential areas or within 200 meters of primary schools and high schools.

At the same time, it hopes to get better control of the cyber cafes by putting them under the management of a few large chain stores, the People's Daily said.

The Chinese government has always been sensitive to its citizens accessing international news portals, pornography and violent content, according to Jack Ma, CEO of Alibaba.com, a network of Chinese business-to-business and consumer auction sites. The government wants to bar Internet access to gambling, pornography, violence and anti-government speech.

Search provider Google recently agreed to work with the government to block access from Google.com to a government blacklist of sites.

But the People's Daily said the latest crackdown was triggered by a June incident when arsonists set fire to an unlicensed Internet cafe, killing 25 people and injuring another 13.