China's Web Giants Vow to Stamp Out Online Porn

Aug 14, 2012 10:30 AM PST

BEIJING — Three of China’s telecom giants along with major web portals have signed a letter of commitment vowing to stop the spread of online porn.

China Daily reported that China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom along with web giants Sina, Baidu, Tencent and the official websites of Xinhua News Agency and the People's Daily, the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China, all agreed to the move on Monday.

As part of their vow, web portals and telecom giants will beef up the blocking of porn on blogs, microblogs and instant communication tools like QQ or Fetion. They will also step up efforts to eradicate “vulgar, gang-related and porn content in online literature and songs.”

Those who don’t comply with banning “unhealthy” content would be asked to publicly apologize if found “breaking the promise,” however, no other punishments were detailed in the letter.

The pact was inked in an official ceremony organized by the National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications and the China National Committee for the Wellbeing of the Youth.

According to the office’s deputy director, Mao Xiaomao, the action particularly targets students who use the Internet during their long summer break. The director is asking the public to report violators through the office's website or by dialing a hotline number.

The agressive move is the latest step in the country’s continuing war on porn.

Just last month the country’s National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications launched a national campaign through November targeting vendors selling videos, books and magazines, as well as “various forms of pornographic or vulgar online content.”

The State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT) also issued new rules mandating that webmasters pre-screen all content deemed vulgar or violent, including porn.

This latest action comes on the heels of a shut down of adult website MM Apartment and the arrest of 2,000 suspects by China's Ministry of Public Security. The site reportedly listed more than 1 million registered users.

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