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Internet cafes to be managed in chains - official
( 2003-10-26 08:11) (Xinhua)

The majority of local Internet cafes, currently exceeding 110,000 in the country, will be put under the management of large chain store companies within three years, as part of efforts by the Chinese government to rein in the fledgling and troublesome business.

Liu Yuzhu, an official with the Ministry of Culture, said this Saturday at the First China International Exposition on Online Culture being held in Beijing.

In June 2002, some people set fire in a local Internet cafe, killing 25 and injuring 13, which triggered a crackdown on unlicensed operations. As a result, the number of Internet shops dropped from 200,000 to 110,000.

Less than 100 chain store operators will be set up in the future, to help regulate and standardize the sector.

Not all of the Internet cafes will be chains, but the government will issue relevant regulations to ensure the healthy operations of these individual shops, according to the official.

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