Over 33m young Chinese adults addicted to Internet

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New Delhi, June 19 (ANI): A study has revealed that the number of young Chinese adults addicted to the Internet has risen to more than 33 million.

The study by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, revealed of the 236 million netizens on the mainland who are under 29 years old, almost 14 percent are hooked on the Web, a rise of roughly 1 percent since 2005, the China Daily reported.

Anyone who spends more than 90 minutes a day online, not including work time, are classed as addicts in the Annual Report (2009-2010) on Internet Usage by Young People in China, which was released on Friday.

"The affliction of modern technology, if not a disorder, has to be addressed to help promote healthy and scientific Internet usage among young people," Shen Jie, a professor at the academy and the report's project director, said.

About 68 percent of young Internet addicts are hooked on video games, particularly role-playing games, said the report, which cites a survey by China Internet Network Information Center of almost 10,000 young Net users aged 6 to 29 and their families.

Today, more than 300 institutions nationwide offer Internet addiction treatment, experts estimated.

However, due to a lack of regulation, some even resort to bizarre measures such as electric shock therapy, said Lu Yulin, a professor at the China Youth University of Political Science.

As yet, the Ministry of Health does not recognize Internet addiction as an illness. However, in March the ministry began a study into the issue, according to the annual report.

"It might be categorized as a mental disease in the future, probably as pathological Internet usage," Shen Jiahong, director of the Guangzhou Baiyun Psychological Institute, said.

Internet addiction may not be recognized as a medical condition or psychiatric disorder but it is often a symptom of more serious underlying problems, such as attention deficit disorder and depression, said Kim Tae-hoon, a psychiatrist in South Korea.

The South Korean culture ministry announced a joint project with major gaming companies in April to implement a "late-night shutdown" on Web games popular among young users.

Access to three games will be blocked from midnight until 8 am to users under 18 when the program goes into effect later this year. (ANI)

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