[photopress:Internet_cafe1_1_2.jpg,full,alignright]Fangshan County in North China’s Shanxi Province became a news story that has spread around the world. In May this remote town closed down its seven Internet cafes.
Which brought up the idea of closing cyber cafes to help Internet-addicted youngsters. The opposing point of view stressed such places are a source of information and it is unfair to close them down.
According to the Beijing-based newspaper Democracy and Law Times the move came after the cyber centres failed to prevent underage students from using the machines.
Yes, the ban happened in May and only became a major item in the past week. Which possibly indicates that as a news providor the Internet is not as good as it claims. It had to wait for a printed newspaper to provide the news.
[photopress:Internet_cafe2_1.jpg,full,alignright]The claim is that a large number of youngsters went to the cafes to play illegal games and look at pornography. And this meant that they abandoned their studies. The rule is that students must be 18 to go online in an Internet cafe.
There are supporters critics. Supporting are parents and teachers in the county who generally thought it was a very good thing.
He Xiaoqing, a teacher at the No. 2 Middle School in Fangshan, said, ‘Students who used to indulge in the Internet for hours a day have now returned to school, and are making progress in their studies.’
Some residents who often went to Internet cafes said the ban has made their daily lives inconvenient. A citizen surnamed Zhang said on an online forum, ‘Net cafes gave us a platform for communication and getting all kinds of information. Now, with every cafe closed down, our daily lives are less diverse.’
[photopress:Internet_cafe3.jpg,full,alignright]Zhang added that in many less developed counties, buying a computer and getting access to the Internet was still beyond the capacity of an ordinary citizen.
Qiu Baochang, a lawyer with the Beijing-based Huijia Law Firm was quoted in China Daily: ‘The Internet is an indispensable part of a modern information society. The management of it involves a long-term effort including strict regulations and effective enforcement. A simple clampdown cannot solve all problems. Even if related bureaus decide to close down an Internet cafe, they still need to collect sufficient proof of law infringements and follow the correct administrative procedures.’
He believes that a local commercial administrative bureau should ensure net cafes abide by China’s Internet cafe regulations, which require them to keep underage visitors away. And all of society, including parents and schools, should be responsible for caring for and disciplining children.
In 2004, the city of Chibi in Central China’s Hubei Province shut down all of its 57 net cafes. However, the move was rejected by the supervisory provincial bureau which said the ban was ‘not feasible.’
The latest survey released by the China Internet Network Information Centre showed 30 million of the country’s 200 million primary and middle school students were regular netizens by June. They accounted for nearly a quarter of the country’s 123 million netizens.
A previous survey by the Jiangsu Provincial Youngster Psychology Research Centre in May showed that 48.5 percent of student netizens played games and 36 percent were engaged in ‘chatting’ online. About 10 percent of those surveyed admitted to visiting pornographic websites.
Source: China Daily
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