China Details Internet and Online Gaming Crackdown

By Aaron Linde, Feb 18, 2008 1:06pm PST The Chinese government has announced details of its plan to target internet cafes, illegal computer markets and specific online games to reduce juvenile crime, the Associated Press reports.

The plan, dubbed "Operation For Tomorrow", is aimed at restricting access to online games that the Chinese government considers violent or undesirable for young people. The announcement clarifies a statement released in January in which officials condemned online gaming as a "spiritual opium."

The government intends to close several unlicensed internet cafes and increase regulation on legal ones, citing the presence of readily-available access to online gaming as breeding grounds for internet addiction.

As a means of regulating the industry, China has enacted laws barring anybody under the age of 18 from entering internet cafes, and mandated time restrictions on adult players. Recent figures released by the state-owned Xinhua News Agency estimate that over 40 million people in China play online games.

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