Chinese Web Operators Sentenced Over Porn Site

Gretchen Gallen
BEIJING – Following the May arrest of 11 webmasters in connection with an adult entertainment website, the Hefei Intermediate Court in the central province of Anhui has sentenced all suspects up to 12 years each.

Wang Yong and Shao Rong have been named as the principal operators of a site called 99 Sex Forum that featured information on prostitution in addition to adult content, videos and chatrooms.

According to police, others charged in the case include schoolteachers and public servants who provided technical support and marketing expertise to the site.

As part of its sweeping crackdown on Internet porn, the Chinese government is claiming that the arrests and convictions of the webmasters and staff members is part of the largest case of Internet pornography in the country’s history.

The Chinese government launched a countrywide crackdown on pornography two years ago that included stiffer penalties — including life in prison — for “severe cases,” that the government considers websites that have been clicked on more than 250,000 times.

Stats on the 99 Sex Forum estimate that Yong and Rong maintained a roster of 76,000 registered users.

After a month-long investigation, police said they determined the defendants had used offshore servers, including at least one in the United States. The website had been running since 2002.

Chinese law forbids the dissemination of explicit or hardcore materials of any kind, including those involving only consenting adults. The law considers such activities crimes against the people and the state.