Laws for Arcades and Net Cafes

Wondering why you can’t walk to a net cafe after school to play some games of League or DotA after your middle school classes? Want to go to an arcade tonight but forgot your ID? Frustrated that GTA continues to be banned? China has some strict laws regarding location and operation of “electronic games centers” along with content of games, movies, and TV, outlined in its Law of the People’s Republic of China on Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency. Most pertinent are Articles 26, 32, 33, and 55, which read:

Article 26
Distance from Primary and Middle Schools

It is prohibited to set up commercial singing and dancing halls, commercial electronic games centers and other places that are not suitable for juveniles in the neighborhood of middle or primary schools. The kinds of halls, centers and places mentioned above shall be specified by people’s governments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government.

Article 32
Content of Games, TV, Films, Radio

No programs of radio, film, TV and drama may contain such contents as may impair the physical and mental health of juveniles, contents that exaggerate violence, pornography, gambling, terror, etc.

The administrative departments for radio, film and television and the administrative departments for culture shall strengthen administration of the programs of radio, film, TV and drama and the various showplaces.

Article 33
Juveniles Are (Usually) Not Allowed in Electronic Game Centers

Around commercial singing and dancing halls and other places that are not suitable for juveniles, conspicuous no-admittance signs for juveniles shall be put up, and no juveniles may be admitted into such places.

Juveniles may not be admitted into commercial electronic games centers except during festivals and holidays specified by the State, and conspicuous no-admittance signs for juveniles shall be put up there.

Where it is difficult to judge whether a person is juvenile or not, the worker of such a center may ask person to show his identity card.

Article 55
No-Admittance Signage

If commercial singing and dancing halls, other places that are not suitable for juveniles, and commercial TV games centers, in violation of the provisions in Article 33 of this Law, fail to put up conspicuous no-admittance signs or allow juveniles to go there, they shall be ordered to set it right, given administrative warning, ordered to suspend business for rectification, their illegal gains shall be confiscated, and they shall be fined by the administrative department for culture, and the persons who are directly in charge and the other persons who are directly responsible shall also be fined; if the circumstances are serious, the administrative department for industry and commerce shall revoke their business licences.

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