China planning crackdown on Internet cafés

China's state media announced that the Chinese government had launched a campaign to bar minors and those thought to be accessing "unhealthy content" from the city's Internet cafés, an AFP report said.

The report, citing local paper China Daily, said people found to have violated regulations "will be severely punished."

Businesses allowing children to surf the Internet would face punishments ranging from a two-week suspension to a revocation of their business licenses, the report said.

Currently, Internet cafés in China were supposed to register the identity of users and only allow adults to enter, the report said.

The report said that in 2004, the government launched a nationwide campaign to inspect Internet cafés, which led to 50,000 businesses being closed down for operating without a license.

However, illegal cafés doing business in suburbs, small towns and the countryside remained a problem, the report said.

According to official figures, there were now about 670,000 Web sites on the Chinese mainland, which had more than 110 million Internet users, the report said.