China reinforces Internet censorship by shutting 1600 cybercafes

The Chinese government confirmed this weekend that it has closed 1,600 internet cafes and fined operators a total of 100m yuan ($12m) since March, when it began its crackdown on violent or pornographic content, and other material it considers harmful to public morality. Government inspectors have checked up on 1.8m cafes since the campaign began, seeking out those letting kids play violent games or access subversive foreign sites. In addition to the 1,600 cafes that have been closed permanently, 18,000 have been shut down for "rectification", according to reports.

Zhang Xinjian, deputy director of the Chinese Ministry of Culture's market department said that "porn, gambling, violence and similar problems have adversely affected the healthy development of the &to=' target=_blank>Internet in China", informs The Register.

According to The Inquirer, deputy director of the Culture Ministry's Market Department, Zhang Xinjian, told the state media that more than 1.8 million Internet cafes throughout the country had been inspected and more than 18,000 had been ordered to cease their operations until reported violations have been corrected.

The statement also says that 100 million yuan worth of fines have been collected for infractions ranging from allowing children to play adult-only games to Internet cafes not having reasonable fire safety standards.

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