China’s Ministry of Culture has just promulgated a new rule to strengthen the management of netcafes and to promote the development of netcafe enterprises.

According to the new rule, which is called “Guidelines on the Registration and Identification of Netcafe Enterprises in China”, companies that want to be registered as a national chain netcafe must meet four conditions: their registered capital must be more than CNY50 million; the total number of their wholly-funded or holding direct-run netcafe retail outlets must be no less than 30 and their direct-run outlets spread in more than three provinces; they meet the relevant criteria of chain retail organizations; none of their outlets has been punished in the past year prior to the date of application.

Under the new rule, companies who want to apply for being registered as a national chain netcafe must file an application with the local culture department which shall in turn submit their opinions on the application to the Ministry of Culture within 20 days. And the latter shall complete the review within 20 days since the date of reception of the material and issue a certificate to the applicant, or send written notice with reasons to those that have not passed the review. Companies that have already been recognized as national chain netcafe shall apply for the assessment directly with the Ministry of Culture.

The new guideline states that national chain netcafes must be inspected annually. The date for chain netcafe owners to submit their yearly inspection materials to the Ministry of Culture is from March 1 to June 30.

The names of all netcafe retail enterprises that have been approved as national chain netcafe shall be soon displayed on