A fire in an unlicensed internet cafe in China has prompted Chinese officials (or rather, given them the excuse they had long been seeking) to shut down thousands of such establishmets across China.


Many Internet cafes were unlicensed and had no fire exits or other required safety features. Officials complained that they also gave young people access to pornography and other harmful material online. 

The crackdown adds to efforts by the communist government to control how Chinese use the Internet, even as it encourages the spread of online activity for business and education.


John Derbyshire, on his last visit to China, wrote something of a love letter to these types of establishments, which he identified as “wang-bas”.


You have no doubt been asking yourself how your intrepid correspondent files his copy to NRO from remote parts of China. The answer is wang-ba. Wang means “web” and ba means “bar” (one of the very few loan-words in Mandarin) .b.” No wonder there are campaigns against the wang-ba. May they never succeed. One of the minor dangers facing China is that it will degenerate into a big Singapore ? drilled, hygienic, and boring as all hell. Let’s hear it for low life. Support your local wang-ba!


last update : 19-4-2018

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