Report: China Cracking Down on VR Porn

May 26, 2017 2:36 PM PST

BEIJING — China apparently is cracking down on the distribution of virtual reality porn.

A report from Xinhua, the official press agency of the People's Republic of China, said that more than 30 online sellers were arrested this week after they were found to be tossing in free adult VR content to those who purchased headsets able to stream the immersive content.

Xinhua said that a statement issued by the National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications on Friday said that “major ecommerce platforms … cooperated in investigating, screening for pornographic search words and reporting violations.”

A similar crackdown yielding arrests took place in February. Subsequently, China's biggest online retailer, Taobao, blocked buyers from searching for some VR headsets after a report revealed that many store owners were using porn as promotional material. 

China has banned porn since its establishment in 1949, but in 1997 the country’s leaders strengthened regulations in light of the popularity of the internet.

In the past years, authorities have gone after all types of distributors of “obscene” content, even hosting companies. Violators face punishment ranging from fines to prison time.

In September, four senior executives of China-based QVOD Technology Co. were sentenced to more than three years in prison for hosting, streaming and profiting from pornography.  

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