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Police raid 22 illegal Internet cafes in Songjiang

SHANGHAI police said this morning they had raided 22 illegal Internet cafes in a recent campaign in the suburban Songjiang District and confiscated 676 computers.

There are approximately 200 illegal Internet cafes in the district, where customers do not have to register their identity before getting online, police said.

The net cafes were typically sealed places, with poor ventilation and unhygienic conditions.

One of the illegal Internet cafes that were raided was transformed from a three-bedroom apartment in a residential building, police said. The cafe area was in a living room of less than 20 square meters and was packed with nearly 50 computers. In one of the bedrooms, less than 10 square meters in size, more than 20 computers were set up and several people of student age were playing inside while the police raided the place, police said.

"The wires were just scattered all over the apartment," an officer said. "There is only one small door for exit and entry with no fire extinguishers available. Once a fire breaks out, the result will be unpredictable."

Along with the district's growing population, more and more illegal Internet cafes have emerged in recent years.

Since 2010, the district industry and commerce department have confiscated nearly 2,000 computers from illegal Internet cafes.


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