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Fire at Internet Cafe 'forces' Chinese government to close all 2400 Beijing cafes.
June 17, 2002 12:36 PM   Subscribe

Fire at Internet Cafe 'forces' Chinese government to close all 2400 Beijing cafes. This one has to rank up there with the line from the Good Old Days in which missing Soviet leaders were often described as 'having a cold.' I can't wait for the 2008 Happy Fun Olympics.
posted by mathis23 (7 comments total)

 

It was around 3 a.m. when I smelled gasoline and saw thick smoke coming up from the bottom of the stairs," said Li, who went to the cafe with about 10 other students from Beijing Technology University.


Interesting.

I was one of the very first customers of Beijing's first "internet cafe." Back then (1996), it was a hole in the wall with twenty terminals all sporting amber 13" monitors. You could lynx to sites, telnet, and ftp; and charged by the bandwith used.

They'd come a long way since then, peaking around 1999... but since then it has been nothing but bad news for the internet in China.
posted by linux at 1:23 PM on June 17, 2002


"Trust us, we're locking you up for your own safety. We are the State, we are here to protect you.... from yourself."
posted by insomnyuk at 3:01 PM on June 17, 2002


I've always wondered how an Chinese underground internet cafe gets it's internet connection? Is it all through phone lines or do they bribe someone at a business or university and run a cable?
posted by bobo123 at 3:02 PM on June 17, 2002


On NPR News, they said that this was a "secret" establishment, where the people who wished to enter had to knock on a bolted door.
posted by mkelley at 4:06 PM on June 17, 2002


This one has to rank up there with the line from the Good Old Days in which missing Soviet leaders were often described as 'having a cold.' I can't wait for the 2008 Happy Fun Olympics.

I'm guessing you've never been to China. Am I right? I was in a Beijing Internet cafe the night the fire occurred (luckily, one of the other 2400 cafes -- most likely not a legit, licensed one, either).

So, what's the point you wished to make with your editorial comment, anyway?
posted by syzygy at 4:57 PM on June 17, 2002


I'm guessing that his point is that maybe the government wasn't being completely honest about this whole thing.
posted by Poagao at 7:38 PM on June 17, 2002


There was a story last month about a number of Western news sites that the Chinese government usually keeps blocked being suddenly available---CNN, Reuters, the Washington Post were all suddenly accessible in China. I was hoping it might be a positive sign of some sort---it's not as if the government there ever explains or even acknowledges these things---but it doesn't look that way, does it. They've done this before and then re-blocked the sites again---it doesn't make any sense.

It's been noted before that China seems to change its mind almost day-to-day on what can be allowed for Internet users there and what can't be.
posted by Sapphireblue at 10:26 AM on June 18, 2002


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