Bureau looking at rules for SAR outlets

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 June, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 June, 2002, 12:00am

Hong Kong officials voiced alarm yesterday at the Beijing fire and pledged to regulate the cyber-cafe industry to boost safety.

The Home Affairs Bureau said it was examining three options to regulate more than 100 Internet outlets without harming business.

Secretary for Security Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee expressed concern over the regulation issue yesterday, but she said improving safety measures at cyber-cafes would not be a problem.

A Home Affairs Bureau spokesman said one option was a notification system, in which cyber-cafe owners would pass details of their premises to authorities without having to apply for a licence. The other options were to maintain the status quo or to bring them under the regulations applying to video game centres. 'We want to ensure public safety without hindering the cafes' business,' the bureau spokesman said. The only licence requirement for Internet cafes covers business registration.