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Chinese Government backs survey on Internet addiction

A new survey which has the backing of the Chinese Government claims that more than 13 per cent of China's youths and young adults are addicted to using the Internet.

A new survey which has the backing of the Chinese Government claims that more than 13 per cent of China's youths and young adults are addicted to using the Internet.

A total of 22,500 people aged between 13-35 from all over China took part in the survey, which was carried out by the China Youth Association for Network Development.

According to CYAND, videogames are a major cause of the problem. The survey states that "about 42 per cent of addicts are attracted to online games while the figure for non-addicts is only 24 per cent" - although Chinese media reports on the survey give no definition of what constitutes an "addict".

Online gaming continues to boom in China - there are more than 1.5 million subscribers to Blizzard MMO World of Warcraft alone, making up more than a third of the game's worldwide subscriber base.

The Government has long expressed concern over the amount of time young people spend playing online games, and earlier this year a new system designed to limit playtime to a maximum of three hours was introduced.

But according to a recent report from the Xinhua news agency, the system, which penalises players in the game if they exceed the time limit, has not been a success - gamers are simply playing as different characters, playing alternative games or using private servers once the three hour period is up.

As yet the Government has not announced any plans to introduce further restrictive measures.

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.