Internet addiction made an official disorder in China

China could become the first country to classify internet addiction as a clinical disorder and plans to lead the world by registering the condition with the World Health Organisation.

Beijing’s Health Ministry is expected to adopt a new manual on internet addiction next year, based on the research of Chinese psychologists. It will recognise the condition as similar to compulsive gambling or alcoholism.

“China finds itself at the forefront of this research because we were among the earliest to set up clinics . . . we had a sufficient sample of patients so that we could carry out proper scientific analysis,” Tao Ran, who set up China’s first internet addiction clinic at the Military General Hospital in Beijing, told The Times.

He said that he had reached his conclusion by studying more than 3,000 people over four years.

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