Internet cafés (also called cyber cafés) are public facilities where computers are connected to the Internet and designed for use for their fee by the hour or minute. Many Internet cafés also sell coffee and food. Combining the social ambience of any traditional coffee bar along with the attraction of the Internet, many Internet cafés acquire a regular clientele from students to adults. These venues appeared first from the mid-1990s and spread rapidly as their popularity grew. While the most popular activities for the most part Internet cafés are to evaluate e-mail, send texts, or look into the Web, some locations specialize in gaming, providing more efficient machines running games over the local network. Such gaming centers are particularly popular in Asia.
Internet cafés have raised most rapidly in countries which are starting to be urban and industrial but where many people cannot yet afford their particular computers. The most striking example is China, which have 113,000 Internet cafés in by 2007. In keeping with its strict policies, however, the Chinese government closely monitors activity at Internet cafés.