China shutters sites, microblogs to cut online porn

Asian giant closes 225 Web sites and 30,000 microblogs for distributing obscene content, and also plans campaigns to crack down on unregistered sites and those operating through fake licenses.

China has cracked down on online pornography, closing down several thousands Web sites and microblogs found to have distributed obscene content. 

Citing a statement by the country's State Internet Information Office (SIIO), Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday that 225 Web sites and over 30,000 microblog accounts were shuttered during a campaign which commenced late last month. More than 79,000 tips on 450 Web sites were received during the campaign.

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Sites and microblogs containing obscene content have been shut down.

Along with China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), and the Ministry of Public Security, the SIIO is currently investigating enterprises that illegally allow providers of obscene content to obtain Internet access as well as individuals who run pornographic Web sites.

The MIIT will also be conducting a nationwide campaign to stop games and video-sharing sites from offering obscene content, the statement noted.

The ministry also found private-access sites including several photo-sharing, video-sharing and games Web sites which were not registered with the Chinese government. As a result, the MIIT will also launch a separate campaign to crack down on unregistered sites and those which operate using forged licenses or illegal Internet access.

The SIIO also called for tougher measures to punish Web site operators which profit from offering obscene content or illegal Internet access.

The campaigns are the latest in China's quest to combat online porn. In January 2011, the police shut down more than 60,000 porn sites and removed 350 million pieces of online content deemed pornographic and indecent. In 2009, it also asked search engines Google and Baidu to make sure pornographic content was filtered from search results.

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