Chinese officials are investigating the death of a teenager who was allegedly beaten to death at a camp designed to treat internet addiction.
Fifteen-year-old Deng Senshan died on Sunday less than 24 hours after arrival at the Qihang Salvation Training Camp.
Four members of staff at the facility in Nanning have been arrested over the death, according to local reports.
China is increasingly taking action to treat what it sees as a pandemic of web addiction amongst teenagers. Some estimates suggest up to 10% of the country’s 100 million web users under could be addicted, and a growing number of rehabilitation services exist.
However, there is little consensus on how to treat the addiction.
Tao Ran, director of the country’s first internet addiction treatment clinic in Beijing, told The Associated Press (AP) that most camps chose to use military-style discipline over scientific methods.
He said this was a particular problem for many of the children because they suffered from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
“Once you put these kids to the training camps or schools, they are bound to have problems with the teachers, because...they can’t be still, while the training is all about keeping still,” he told AP.
In July, China’s Ministry of Health formally banned the use of electroshock therapy as a treatment option.