China's Ministry of Health has issued a circular which asks shock treatment for Internet addiction be suspended as its safety has not been proved.

Previously, Chinese media reported that a clinic in the eastern Chinese province of Shandong had been treating teenagers suffering from Internet addiction with shock treatment. Yang Yongxin, a doctor of the clinic, reportedly used a current of 1-5 milliamperes on the young patients and described the treatment as "therapy to clear the mind" which he claimed would not cause brain damage.

The Ministry of Health stated in the circular that a discussion had been held among experts and it had been agreed that the shock treatment should not be used as it is still uncertain about its safety and effectiveness for Internet addiction patients. Ministry of Health said that if the clinic wants to carry out research on the therapy, it should make an application to the health supervisor first, pay due respect to the patients' rights of being informed, and must not charge any fees for this service.

Yang's clinic has reportedly already stopped providing the treatment service.


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