China deleted more than 3 million pieces of pornographic content from the Internet last year, state media outlets reported yesterday, as part of a campaign to “cleanse” the nations online sphere.
Zhou Huilin (周慧琳), a vice director of the National Anti-Pornography and Anti-Illegal Publications Office, told Xinhua news agency that his office was “remarkably effective” last year.
China has been cracking down on Internet porn for a decade and has been stepping up its Web oversight in recent months.
In 2006, a 28-year-old man who ran the nation’s most popular pornographic Web site community, with up to 600,000 members, was sentenced to life in prison.
More than 10,000 Web sites or pages that contained what was described as illegal or harmful information were also shut down by authorities, Xinhua reported, without providing details.
They also confiscated more than 16 million illegal publications — including 12 million allegedly pirated ones — and dealt with 212 cases that involved “fake” journalists or media organizations, Xinhua quoted Zhou as saying.
China has more Web users than any other nation, with a government agency last year putting the figure at 632 million.
The nation is home to a huge e-commerce market and the Internet has been used to spotlight government abuses, presenting a challenge to the Chinese Communist Party.
Beijing maintains tight controls over online activity, blocking Web sites it deems politically sensitive in a system dubbed the “Great Firewall of China,” while obliging social media companies to censor user-generated content.
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