China deleted over 3 million porn files in 2014: Xinhua

A man uses a computer inside an Internet cafe in Shanghai. China deleted more than three million pieces of pornographic content from the Internet in 2014, state media reported Saturday, as part of a campaign to cleanse the country's online sphere.&nb
A man uses a computer inside an Internet cafe in Shanghai. China deleted more than three million pieces of pornographic content from the Internet in 2014, state media reported Saturday, as part of a campaign to cleanse the country's online sphere. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (AFP) - China deleted more than three million pieces of pornographic content from the Internet in 2014, state media reported Saturday, as part of a campaign to cleanse the country's online sphere.

Zhou Huilin, a vice director of the National Anti-Pornography and Anti-Illegal Publications Office, told the official Xinhua news agency his office had been "remarkably effective" last year.

China has been cracking down on Internet porn for a decade and has been stepping up its oversight of the web in recent months.

In 2006, a 28-year-old man who ran the country's most popular pornographic website community, with up to 600,000 members, was sentenced to life in prison.

More than 10,000 websites or pages that contained what was described as illegal or harmful information were also shut down by authorities, Xinhua reported, without providing details.

They also confiscated more than 16 million illegal publications - including 12 million pirated ones - and dealt with 212 cases that involved fake journalists or media organisations, Xinhua quoted Zhou as saying.

China has more web users than any other country in the world, with a government agency last year putting the figure at 632 million.

The country is home to a huge e-commerce market and the Internet has been used to spotlight government abuses, presenting a challenge to the ruling Communist Party.

Beijing maintains tight controls over online activity, blocking websites it deems politically sensitive in a system dubbed the "Great Firewall of China" and obliging social media companies to censor user-generated content.