They have served as crucibles for the country's online culture and as schools and sanctuaries for its marginalized migrant workers. But according to a new report from the Ministry of Culture, China's Internet cafés are now in decline, as home broadband and mobile connections become more widely accessible. From Xinhua:
The country had 136,000 cyberbars nationwide as of the end of 2012, a decrease of 6.9 percent year on year, according to an annual report on Internet bars released by the Ministry of Culture on Saturday.
It is the first decrease in eight years.
The revenue of Internet bars plummeted by 13.2 percent to 53.7 billion yuan (8.7 bln U.S. dollars), the report showed.
[…] Internet bars employed more than 1.03 million people, the report said.