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China Has Closed Down 12,000-Plus Internet Cafes Since 2020  – The Esports Observer

China has closed down more than 12,000 internet cafes since 2020, the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report by the China Business Journal (CBJ). Over 3,600 internet cafes were deactivated by the government, and 9,250 were closed willingly. CBJ also pointed out that China still has more than 120,000 internet cafes operating in the country. 

The report gave two reasons for the closures: the negative economic impact of COVID-19 and the rise of mobile esports and esports viewing habits in society.

“On the one hand, the younger generation would like to play mobile games on smartphones, instead of playing PC games in internet cafes,” CBJ commentator Chunwei Zhang wrote. “There are also a number of esports enthusiasts who like to watch esports competitions rather than just playing, so they would purchase esports-related projects, such as esports hotels.”

Zhang also reported that China has more than 8,000 esports-themed hotels in the country. With esports and mobile games becoming more mainstream in entertainment, industries like property management have shown interest in adding esports elements to their businesses. In Shanghai, Chinese esports organization Edward Gaming (EDG)’s parent company SuperGen Group put over $1.5B USD in building its esports complex park, including a 6,000 seat esports venue, as well as a “five-star” esports-themed hotel.

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