China closes 6,000 websites, WeChat accounts due to erotic content

The National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications shut down over 6,000 websites and WeChat accounts as part of a campaign to create a clean and healthy cultural environment.
The National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications shut down over 6,000 websites and WeChat accounts as part of a campaign to create a clean and healthy cultural environment. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING - Over 6,000 websites and WeChat accounts were shut down by the Chinese government because of pornographic content in 2017, according to an annual government report on Thursday (Jan 4).

The National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications report said this was part of a campaign to create a clean and healthy cultural environment, reported state news agency Xinhua.

Several influential streaming sites were closed, and a number of people who produced erotic content for streaming videos were also detained as part of the clean-up, said the report.

The national office also made requests to delete over 4.5 million pornographic posts from the internet. This is in addition to about 20 million posts of a similar nature that online service providers removed themselves, said the report.

Xinhua also reported that the authorities cracked a case where erotic videos were being spread via WeChat, involving a network of more than 100,000 people in over 20 provincial regions. Some of these people were underage.

More than 30 others were also detained for seeding virtual reality pornographic videos, said the report.

Xinhua also said that the public had played an active part in the effort, providing more than 120,000 leads.