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Outstanding numbers


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On one hand, there's always been that spin on the Chinese control and censorship of internet usage within their borders .. amd we all kow about the lackluster attitude fiven to the spam and spam-hoting ... yet, the numbers touted in this article are somewhat surprising when trying to apply all the hype ....

China cracks down on online games

Internet cafes, known as "net bars" in Chinese, are often crowded rooms, filled with rows of computers and the bleeps of online games. They are especially popular in winter, Xinhua noted, when most of south China is damp, rainy and chilly.

In a sweep designed to "clean up young people's online environment," police in the southern Chinese border city of Shenzhen uncovered 563 illegal Internet cafes, Xinhua said. The crackdown netted 1,407 computers, while 7 people were arrested and nearly 5,000 Internet accounts closed.

Shenzhen police in one case discovered 30 computers crammed into a 40-square meter room.

Other unregistered establishments were tucked in the upper floors of otherwise empty buildings. "This shows the difficulties the law enforcers face," Xinhua noted.

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What the Chinese corner of the internet does to its citizens is always a matter of concern to the Chinese (cripes, even telephones with outside connection were in very limited and contolled numbers until fairly recently). On the other hand, whether sanctioned or not, whatever discomfort spam activities outside of China might cause to other economies and bandwidth is definitely in their national interest. So it is just a matter of making it as one-way as possible from the short-term or pragmatic viewpoint. Chinese anti-spam regulations seem quite comprehensive and effective (if applied) from the occasional quotes of bits of it that I've seen. But they're in no hurry to apply it "outside". I think a lot of that is actually down language - in which case we might see some improvement post-Olympics.

So far as the numbers go, multiply the Shenzhen cleanup by 200 to scale up for all China, then multiply it by any number between 1 and (say) 10 to represent the police discovery:total ratio and you would have something like the total number of "underground" computers and Internet Cafes implied. I wouldn't think those numbers (towards the lower end of the range) are surprising.

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