China shuts over 60,000 porn websites this year

BEIJING Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:30pm IST

A visitor takes pictures of an adult film actress during the Eros Show in the Bulgarian capital Sofia April 2, 2008.  REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

A visitor takes pictures of an adult film actress during the Eros Show in the Bulgarian capital Sofia April 2, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Stoyan Nenov

Related Topics

BEIJING (Reuters) - China shut down more than 60,000 pornographic websites this year, netting almost 5,000 suspects in the process, a government spokesman said on Thursday, vowing no let-up in its campaign against material deemed obscene.

Beijing has run a highly publicised drive against what officials said was smutty and lewd content overwhelming the country's Internet and cell phones, threatening the emotional health of children.

Critics accuse the Chinese government of deepening the crackdown, launched last December, and tightening overall censorship, and say that the push has netted many sites with politically sensitive or even simply user-generated content.

But Wang Chen, head of the State Council Information Office, or cabinet spokesman's office, said the offensive was vital.

"Our campaign has been a great success and this has not been achieved easily," he told a news conference. "We have made the Internet environment much cleaner than before as there was a lot of pornography available.

"We have changed this situation and this has been well received by many sectors across society," Wang said. "But our campaign has not come to a stop. This will be a long battle."

"As long as there are people with bad motives who want to spread violent or pornographic information, we will have to continue our campaign to resolutely crack down on the spread of such information."

Of the 4,965 suspects, 1,332 people received "criminal punishment" with 58 jailed for five years or more, Wang said.

The government checked the content of 1.79 million websites and deleted 350 million pornographic and lewd articles, pictures and pieces of video footage, he said.

With an estimated 450 million Internet users as of the end of November, China has a bigger online population than any other country. Yet the government worries the Internet could become a dangerous conduit for threatening images and ideas.

China has blocked a number of popular websites and Internet services, including Google's YouTube, Twitter, Flickr and Facebook, as well as Chinese content sharing sites.

The government accused them of carrying content harmful to China's security and in breach of Chinese laws, including images of protests in sensitive regions such as Tibet.

Wang said he had seen media reports that Facebook's chief Mark Zuckerberg had visited China recently, but said Zuckerberg had not met his department, which oversees the Internet in China.

"We saw reports that he met with some well-known figures in China's Internet industry. We are also still trying to learn more about his visit to China," he added.

Google Inc, the world's top Internet search engine, closed its China-based search service in March, two months after it said it would stop censoring search results in response to what it said was a sophisticated cyber attack that it traced to China and increasing limits on freedom of expression.

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Tech Buzz

Reuters Showcase

Google Drones

Google Drones

Google tests drones for deliveries.  Video 

New iPhone

New iPhone

Apple working with NXP for pay-by-touch technology in new iPhone - FT.  Full Article 

Legal Case

Legal Case

Bitcoin promoter to plead guilty to unlicensed money transmission.  Full Article 

Online Crackdown

Online Crackdown

China's Tencent shuts messaging accounts after censorship rules - state media.  Full Article 

Hot Commodity

Hot Commodity

Data scientists are increasingly becoming important to the world's tech companies.  Video 

Agriculture App

Agriculture App

CME Group smartphone game lets students "beef up" on ag economics.  Full Article 

Copyright Dispute

Copyright Dispute

Oracle loses bid to restore $1.3 bln SAP verdict, could get new trial  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage