Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Bloomberg Customers

A new crackdown on Internet cafes

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on May 17, 2006

Well that didn’t take long. On May 5th, bombs exploded at two Internet cafes in Hefei, the capital of Anhui province in southeastern China. Two people died. I mentioned in a New Tech in Asia post a few days later that the Chinese government has, for several years now, been trying to crack down on Internet cafes, since many mandarins see them as dangerous places where teenagers spend too much time playing online games or accessing porn or other forbidden content. The bombings came just when it seemed to some people that the government might be relaxing a bit and preparing to take a more lenient attitude toward Internet cafes, which (because of the relatively low level of PC ownership in China) play a vital role in the strategies of Chinese Internet companies. After the explosions, though, I said that liberalization was likely to be on the back burner.

And sure enough, less than a week later officials launched a new crackdown on Internet cafes. The China Daily, the official English-language newspaper published in Beijing, reports that the city government “has started a three-month campaign to scrutinize the city’s 1,007 licensed Internet cafes.” The goal is to go after cafes that illegally admit minors. Or, as the China Daily describes a local Beijing newspaper’s dramatic description, the government “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.” Let’s see if this campaign is more successful than the ones the earlier ones. According to a report last year from Xinhua, the Internet cafe business is a $3.2 billion industry. With numbers like that, my guess is that the government will have a hard time keeping the cafes down and the kids out.

Post a comment



Bloomberg Businessweek’s team of Asia reporters brings you the latest insights on business, politics, technology and culture from some of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies.

BW Mall - Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!