Recent survey puts the number of young Internet addicts in China's prosperous Guangdong province at more than 460,000.
Conducted by the Communist Youth League, the survey listed online gaming as the top cause of internet addiction, with more than half of the young internet addicts indulging in it.
Web chatting or online relationships came a distant second.
The survey, which polled about 1,000 primary and high school students last month, revealed that many students reported eye diseases, cervical spondylosis, poor sleeping patterns and weakening immunity, as well as frequent fatigue and anxiety after spending a lot of time surfing the Internet.More than 64 percent of the young Internet addicts started to hate school," China Daily quoted the report, as saying.
Overall, the number of young Internet addicts has reached 24 million in China; almost double the number in 2005.
The figure is expected to exceed 50 million by 2015.
Yu Huihui, a psychologist under the Guangzhou committee of the Communist Youth League, said most children become addicted to the Internet because they cannot bear the academic pressure or they feel neglected by their families.
"Internet addiction will certainly hinder the health of children. Children are most vulnerable to Internet addiction between the ages of 14 and 16," Yu said.
Tan Juntie, secretary of the Guangdong provincial committee of the Communist Youth League, said teachers and parents should strengthen cooperation to help guide children on the proper use of the Internet and keep them away from inappropriate online content.