"Leave me alone and turn on the computer for me"

In the latest example of the country’s troubling obsession with the virtual world, the 21-year-old named only as Mr Xia collapsed onto the pavement outside an internet café in Hefei, the capital of Anhui province, according to a report in the Anhui Business Review.

When paramedics arrived to take the goggle-eyed man to hospital he reportedly told them: “Leave me alone and turn on the computer for me. I want to surf the internet.”

Ms Wang, a cleaning lady at the café, said she had seen the young man stagger out of the building following a two-week online binge during which he had chain-smoked, repeatedly dodged showers and eaten almost nothing.