China looking to stop Internet addiction

Updated: 2006-10-28 15:48

China's government wants to develop technology to stop children from becoming addicted to the Internet, a news report said Friday.

Chinese officials encourage Internet use for education and business but express growing worry about its effect on children and the possibility that it could be addictive. Chinese psychologists are looking into the possibility that heavy Internet users suffer a form of addiction, and a handful of clinics have opened to wean patients off compulsive Web use.

Parliament is considering a measure to "encourage research and development of technologies to prevent minors from becoming Internet addicts," the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

It said the proposed measure an amendment to a law on protection of minors would encourage research into such things as software that stops online gaming at a fixed time.

The measure also would ban minors from Internet cafes, bars and commercial dance halls, Xinhua said.

China has the world's second-biggest population of Internet users after the United States, with 123 million people online.