China imposes stricter penalties to stop minors using cybercafes
China's Internet cafe operators will face tougher penalties for allowing minors to log online, according a circular issued by the Ministry of Culture in Beijing Wednesday.
According to the new rules, an Internet cafe will have to suspend operation for 30 days if found providing services to a minor, defined as someone below 18 years old. If such a violation occurs twice in a year, its license will be completely withdrawn.
China has banned Internet cafes from providing services to minors since 2002, in wake of a series of Internet cafe accidents and increasing number of teenagers addicted to online gaming.
In June 2002, two teenage boys set fire of an Internet cafe in Beijing, killing 25 people and injuring 12, many of whom were minors. The incident triggered a nationwide campaign to better regulate Internet cafes.