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China could become the first country to classify internet addiction as a clinical disorder amid growing concern over compulsive web use by millions of Chinese, state media said
The health ministry is likely to adopt a new manual on Internet addiction next year drawn up by Chinese psychologists that recognises it as a condition similar to compulsive gambling or alcohol addiction, the China Daily reported.
It cited psychologists involved in drafting the diagnostic manual.
China has the world’s largest online population at 253 million people, according to official figures, and is growing rapidly as computer use rises along with income levels.
But that has also fed growing concerns over compulsive internet use.
A top Chinese legislator said in August that about 10% of China’s web users under the age of 18, or four million people, were addicted to the internet, mainly to “unhealthy” online games, state media said at the time.
Recent research by internet media company InterActiveCorp showed that 42% of Chinese youngsters polled felt “addicted” to the web, compared to 18% in the US. China has tried various measures to regulate the booming online gaming market and curb Web use by teens.
In 2006, it ordered all Chinese internet game manufacturers to install technology in their games that demands players reveal their real name and identification number.
Sources: The Times Of India
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