China Cracks Down On Game-Related Internet Cafes
The Chinese government has introduced new legislation setting tighter restrictions on Internet cafes and entertainment content, including video games, according to an Associated Press report. New regulations prohibit teenagers from entering Internet cafes or karaoke bars, deeming them unfit and potentially corrupting environments for students.
In addition, the establishments will be prohibited from displaying "audio and video products and electronic games" that threaten national security or disparage other nationalities or races. Specifically, the entertainment may not "damage China's unification, sovereignty, or territorial integrity," referring to the dispute over the status of nominally independent Taiwan.
"With the development of the Internet, there has been some harmful and illegal content," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao. "The Chinese government has adopted some management measures so as to limit the immoral and harmful content, especially for young people." Chinese regulation of Internet content has become controversial in recent weeks due to popular search engine Google's acquiescence to Chinese censorship of its results in exchange for official license to operate in the country.
The new laws will take effect on March 1st, and carry potential fines of 30,000 yuan ($3,700 USD) and possible closure for six months of the offending establishments.