China shutters 7,846 black market sites

Government crackdown on illegal online commercial activities results in thousands of Web sites being shut down and 1.2 million online posts removed, report states.

The Chinese government has shut down 7,846 Web sites believed to be involved in "illegal commercial activities" as it cracked down on the country's online black market.

According to Chinese news site Xinhua's report on Wednesday, the Ministry of Public Security also removed 1.2 million online posts and "disciplined" 1,075 Internet service providers as part of the campaign, which targeted activities such as the sale of weapons, ammunitions, explosives, toxic chemicals, personal information, and devices used to tap mobile phones.

Besides shuttering the sites, the ministry had arrested 905 suspected criminals and eliminated 53 criminal gangs, according to the report.

The crackdown came after the Chinese government opposed the United States' listing of Taobao--the country's larget consumer e-commerce site--as a market for piracy, and urged its counterpart to take into account efforts made by China to protect intellectual property rights and fight piracy.