Internet cafe's in China are a dime a dozen. However, as China has grown more affluent with the times, so has its, well, internet cafes. One newly opened club in Beijing might be the most ridiculous one yet. Ridiculous in an expensive way.
Recently opened in Beijing's Sanlitun entertainment district, the new Cuz Club sports some some crazy high membership fees. Tencent's gaming channel was swell enough to send a reporter down to the location to take a few photos and learn more about the pricing scheme of things.
Now, many internet cafes in China offer membership options. My local internet cafe offers a base membership for the equivalent of about $85. Becoming a member lowers my hourly fees from about $0.60 to about $0.30 an hour, and the money is deducted from my account balance. This kind of membership scenario is common across net cafes in China as well as in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Some cafes might be more expensive, others might be cheaper. However Cuz Club's prices are just outlandish.
According to Tencent, Cuz Club requires all patrons to have a membership with membership starting at $820. That's just the be base membership. Every hour in the club costs a whopping $11 -- that's a 270 per cent increase from the average price of an hour at an internet cafe.
On top of the base membership, members are allowed to bring in guests if they choose to pay more. One guest requires a membership level of around $1600, while a three guest pass requires a commitment of close to $5000! All guests will supposedly experience the base level $820 service.
Tencent reports that the PC equipment in the Cuz Club are all brand names (names such as Alienware). On top of just computers, the club also seems to feature a tea room. Tencent's unclear about the level of food and beverage or whether smoking is allowed or not. There's one way to find out for sure, and it involves lots and lots of money.
北京最土豪网吧：进门费5000元 每小时69元 [Tencent Games]
Pictures: Tencent via Sina Weibo