It is being reported in the local media that only five of the ten enterprises that were granted the right to set up Internet cafés across China last year have been granted a formal license, with the other five seemingly uninterested.
Last year, the Ministry of Culture granted this right to ten enterprises, allowing them to prepare for the construction of a minimum of 20 directly-operated Internet cafes. Once they fulfilled that task, they would be granted a formal license to establish cafes throughout the country. However, one year later, only China Unicom, readchina.com, GWBN, capitalnet and China Youth net have reached the required number.
The remaining five– DChome, China Digital Library, CAUTN, China Cultural Relics Information Consulting Center, and CETC-ChinaComm–have not qualified. When asked why they had not met the criteria, their answers were ambiguous. Some analysts believe, however, that the companies were initially eager to get the license as they hoped to occupy a significant some space in the market. Later, they realized that they had not anticipated the large construction cost and simultaneously overestimated the lifetime of Internet café chains.