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Children in China were detained in the Internet addiction camp for up to 10 days



The facility is one of several hundred bootcamp-style detoxification centers that have opened across China in the past decade, amid growing concerns about the amount of time young people spend online.

Despite widespread censorship and tight government controls, China has one of the world’s largest Internet user bases. More than 850 million people have access to the Internet, including around 200 million online users between the ages of 15 and 35.
Treatment camps have seen a boom in popularity in the years following China’s decision to officially recognize internet addiction as a mental disorder in 2008, but a number of negative headlines and allegations of serious physical abuse have raised concerns in recent years.
In 201
4, a 19-year-old girl died in Zhengzhou City, Henan Province, after being reportedly beaten by trainers at an internet detoxification center, according to Chinese state media reports. Other reports say that camps have used treatments that are comparable to electro-seizure therapies (ECT).

Court documents show Tuesday that four surnames Wu, Ren, Zhang, and Qu were found guilty of illegal detention after detaining 12 young people in solitary confinement at the Yuzhang Academy in Jiangxi Province for up to 10 days. Eleven of the victims were under the age of 18 at the time.

China fears that young people are addicted to video games.  Now there is a curfew

Wu was sentenced to almost three years in prison, while Ren and Zhang were sentenced to two years and seven months and one year and ten months, respectively. Qu was sentenced to 11 months.

The facility hit the headlines in 2017 after the local government announced it was investigating allegations of severe physical punishment for students to “promote the moral character of teenagers,” reports in state media.

According to the state-run tabloid Global Times, former students accused Yuzhang Academy staff of placing new students in “little black rooms” with nothing but a blanket and a pot for a toilet.

“I was watched all the time,” a former student surnamed Xuan told the Global Times in 2017.

The Chinese government has taken a number of measures to combat Internet addiction in recent years. In November, Beijing announced a curfew for people under the age of 18 to stop playing online video late into the night. They can play for up to 90 minutes on weekdays and up to three hours on weekends.

Minors in China are not allowed to play online video games between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.
In May 2019, the Chinese government introduced an anti-addiction system for children by adding a “youth mode” to 18 popular video websites that restricted usage times and content.

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