China Cracks Down on Porn, Piracy

Michael Hayes
BEIJING – A Chinese government task force announced today that it closed and levied fines against dozens of websites that carry pornographic or pirated materials.

Websites displaying pornographic and violent material took the brunt of the crack down. According to authorities, 53 sites were closed, with no further details given.

The task force, which was formed to combat porn and piracy, took the offensive against a number of different websites. Among those closed was a site that offered pirated copies of a popular game produced by a Chinese firm, Shanda Interactive Entertainment. Operators of that site were arrested.

Websites distributing pirated movies were fined. Warehouses around the country housing pirated material were raided and closed. China faces continued international pressure to enforce copyright laws and stop piracy.

According to China’s Xinhua news agency, the government is “determined to protect copyright and will continue its efforts to fight against porn and piracy.”

China, with a population more than 1 billion, has 100 million Internet users. The Chinese government heavily regulates Internet access. Websites that publish pornographic or subversive material are strictly forbidden.

China recently passed laws calling for fines and jail time for anyone sending pornographic text messages. A consortium of Chinese Internet companies agreed to share information and resources to find and block banned URLs.