Beijing: China has witnessed a decline in the number of Internet bars, a first instance in last eight years, courtesy a boom in the household broadband and mobile Internet sectors, the government has revealed.
The country had 136,000 cyberbars nationwide by the end of 2012, a decrease of 6.9 percent year on year, reported Xinhua citing an annual report on Internet bars released by the cultural ministry Saturday.
According to the report, the revenue of Internet bars plummeted by 13.2 percent to 53.7 billion yuan (about $8.7 bn).
It was found that a booming mobile Internet, household broadband and the hiking up of operating costs contributed to the shrinking of the industry.
The total number of computers installed in Internet bars, however, increased by 3.7 percent to 11.95 million, it said.
The report, which said Internet bars employed more than 1.03 million people, predicted a further downward trend for the industry.
The report, which found online games and music remained the main reasons for people to visit Internet bars, suggested Internet bars enhance operations and integrate into games rooms and cafes to develop their business.
China disallows anyone under 18 years of age to visit Internet bars.
Last year, the Ministry of Culture investigated 34,200 cases concerning illegal operations of Internet bars and resolve over 31,600 of them, the report said.
First Published: Sunday, April 28, 2013, 18:56