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International

China bans new Internet cafes until net culture is cleaned up

In what is likely a futile effort to "clean-up" Internet culture, China officials have announced that they aren't going to issue any new licenses for Internet cafes, reports the Associated Press. No new licenses will be given until regulators investigate concerns that online material is harming young people.
Written by Richard Koman, Contributor on

In what is likely a futile effort to "clean-up" Internet culture, China officials have announced that they aren't going to issue any new licenses for Internet cafes, reports the Associated Press. No new licenses will be given until regulators investigate concerns that online material is harming young people.

Officials are looking for Internet cafes who are renting out their licenses or failing to register their customers' identities, a Chinese government agency announced on its Web site.

"Industry and commerce bureaus at all levels must not license any new Internet cafes in 2007," said the notice, dated May 30.

Although the communist government supports business and educational aspects of the Internet, they are cracking down on violent games, sexually explicit material and gambling Web sites by blocking access to online material deemed obscene or subversive.

President Hu Jintao has ordered Chinese authorities to clean up "Internet culture," and the government launched a crackdown in April on online pornography. China is second only to the U.S. in the number of Internet users and is expected to surpass the United States as the largest online population in two years.

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