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Internet cafes to generate $19 billion sales in 2011

Report estimates 350,000 internet cafes across Asia, despite increasing PC home ownership

Revenues from Internet cafes in Asia will rise to more than $19 billion in 2011, according to a new report from Pearl Research.

The company's Internet Cafes in Asia study suggest that there are now 350,000 such business across Asia. Larger operations can house more than 200 PCs in each café and generate half a million dollars in sales every year.

Cafes in other Asian countries such as India and Vietnam tend to have an average of just 20 seats.

The report suggests that the cafes have become a social phenomenon in many cases independent of home PC ownerships, with the 82 per cent PC penetration in South Korea having little effect on the popularity of Internet cafes in the country.

Although the report, part of the company's Online Games in Asia subscription series, paints the businesses as a prime target for PC and hardware manufacturers it warns that a multi-prong strategy is needed with "dedicated sales team, pricing bundles and special marketing and promotions".

Current issues for the cafes themselves include high real estate and labour costs, as well as increasing government scrutiny. Home ownership is becoming a problem in some areas, as is the negative reputation of the business amongst the general public.

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