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More than 500 Internet cafes closed in north China province
( 2002-07-09 09:09 ) (8 )

A total of 528 Internet cafes " with serious safety problems" in north China's Hebei Province were closed in a nationwide crackdown triggered by a deadly fire at a Beijing web cafe last month, the Beijing Morning Post reports Monday.

A thorough check of the 3,813 Internet cafes in Hebei since June 17 has found 2,892 hidden dangers that could lead to fire, including blocked exits, unclear security signs and poor firefighting facilities, sources with the local authorities were quoted as saying.

In the provincial capital of Shijiazhuang alone, 83 Internet bars "with problems" were ordered to halt business for rectification, while another 41 unregistered "black web bars" were shut down, the sources said.

A fire which broke out in Beijing's Lanjisu Internet Cafe on June 16 claimed 25 lives, mostly college students, prompting the Chinese government to order a nationwide check on the safety and operations of web cafes.

By the end of 2001, the Chinese mainland had 33.7 million Internet surfers with a total of 12.54 million personal computers linked to the Internet.

Statistics from the Ministry of Culture showed that there were more than 200,000 Internet bars in China, but only 46,000 of them were legally registered. 



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