Research performed at Beijing's Military General Hospital could lead to the first ever official recognition of internet addiction.

According to the Chinese tea, the syndrom can be recognised by symptoms including using the Internet for more than 6 hours per day and exhibiting symptoms including insomnia, difficulty concentrating, mental or physical stress, irritation, and spending time wishing you were online.

The definition, which we have obviously simplified, could be adopted by China's Health Ministry as early as 2009.

The research will also be registered with the World Health Organization.

The doctor at the Military General Hospital who headed up the research is Dr. Tao Ran.

He told the Times Online that the project took in over 3000 people over four years: "We took symptoms that appeared at the same time in more than 50% of patients and then we noted how frequently these same symptoms were repeated".

Tao added his belief that around 10% of China's youth is addicted to the web and more than two-thirds of his patients are male.