China’s Web Addiction Rehab Center

By Deane Barker on July 1, 2005

Rehab for Web addicts includes shock treatments: It was announced recently that China has the second largest number of people online, after the United States. Apparently some of them are online too much.

While China promotes Internet use for business and education, government officials also say Internet cafes are eroding public morality. Authorities regularly shut down Internet cafes – many illegally operated — in crackdowns that also include huge fines for their operators. […]

Tao’s government-owned clinic, which began taking patients in March, occupies the top floor of a two-story building on a quiet, tree-lined street on the sprawling campus of the Beijing Military Region Central Hospital in the heart of the Chinese capital.

A dozen nurses and 11 doctors care for the patients, mostly youths aged 14 to 24 who have lost sleep, weight and friends after countless hours in front of the computer, often playing video games with others online.

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  1. Maybe. This reference at Coming Anarchy makes public Net access in China sound like a crack den:

    While in Urumqi with some mates in 2003, we stopped in at a “Net Bar” or internet cafe, and saw some of China’s online population of 94 million. We walked up the stairs of what seemed to be an abandoned building, and stepped in a sidedoor into a low-lit, smoky room with walls of peeling green paint and rows upon rows of manned computers. We were guided to the back of the hall, and stepped through a hole in the wall into an even darker windowless backroom with more computers, manned by game-playing geeks laying down some pure pwnage on some n00bs in Starcraft and whatnot.

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