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China Letter-News and Human Rights

China human rights news with focus on the Uygur of Xinjiang, Tibetans and Tibet, Chinese mining workers, religion, corruption and censorship.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

China shuts down 8600 internet cafes

China Internet "China has shut down 8 600 internet cafes in the past two months as part of an ongoing crackdown on the media, state press said on Tuesday."

It's a great headline but it may not be as sinister as it first seems and as the linked article implies with its tie in to recent blog censorship.

In October last year the CCP announced a new "educational campaign" aimed at reaffirming Communist Party's control over the press, including television, print and the electronic media. For example, in terms of television the CCP encouraged that TV stations produce more programmes aimed at promoting the party's theme of atheism and denouncing "cult" religions.

The crackdown on internet cafe's deals with illegal or underground internet cafes that are unlicensed and therefore "unsupervised" by the state. I do not think that we can view this as a censorship matter though it has that element of course.

It is aimed mainly at underage users who frequent such places for, among other things, the national obsession of internet gambling. They are the modern day "pool halls" of the east.

As well all establishments where the public can congregate need supervision as to such things as fire and safety.

I am sure that anyone plotting the overthrow of the Chinese communist regimes can find less sordid venues or alternative means to do their dastardly plotting!

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Mail and Guardian Online: China shuts down 8 600 internet cafés