This chapter describes China’s cybercafé, or “Net bar (wangba),” business. It specifically provides an analytical overview of Internet cafés, their historical trajectory, internal differentiation, and implications for working-class network society. The chapter shows that the growth of the Internet café as a working-class information and communication technology (ICT) is more remarkable when compared with other modes of access. It also draws four basic types of collective Internet access venues in China: (1) promotional cafés, (2) elite cafés, (3) mass-service Net bars, and (4) illegal or semilegal black Net bars. The chapter reveals that the dispute with the online gaming industry illustrates the political awareness of working-class providers, and addresses how Internet cafés can be a better sphere of the commons.
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