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China to Crack Down on Online Games

Posted Jan 17, 2008 by Keith Cross

China to Crack Down on Online Games

China has announced that it will be creating new rules to curb what the call "undesirable" elements of online games.

BEIJING (Reuters) - China said it would issue new rules cracking down on "undesirable" elements of online games amid fears of growing Internet addiction as the number of players soars, state media reported on Thursday.

The number of online game players in China rose 23 percent to 40.17 million last year, Xinhua news agency said this week, citing an industry survey. Regular subscribers, accounting for over half the players, soared 30 percent.

The demand propelled online games sales to top 10.57 billion yuan ($1.46 billion) in 2007, up 61.5 percent, the agency said.

The industry's growth comes amid media reports of soaring rates of online addiction, and officials blaming Internet obsessions for the majority of juvenile crime.

"Although China's online gaming industry had been hot in recent years, online games are regarded by many as a sort of spiritual opium and the whole industry is marginalized by mainstream society," Thursday's China Daily quoted Kou Xiaowei, a senior official with the General Administration of Press and Publication, as saying.

Read the full article here.

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