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Banks Keep Eye on Website Operators to Curb Porn

As part of the national campaign against Internet pornography, the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) has issued a circular requiring all banks to investigate online transactions conducted by porn site operators.

"Once a website is found to be involved in pornographic business, banks should immediately freeze its capital," according to the circular.

The CBRC noted that some pornographic websites have used the banks' online transaction services as a means to charge clients, damaging the banks' reputations and business.

The CBRC asked the banks to strengthen the monitoring of their daily business and report anything abnormal, including suspicious domain names, IP addresses and bank card numbers, to public security departments.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China announced that it has checked all 355 of its contracted website operators to ensure that they possess certificates for online business and have agreed not to engage in "indecent activities."

The China Construction Bank designated a liaison in each of its branches, who is to be responsible for updating information about the performance of contracted website operators.

The ongoing nationwide crackdown on pornographic websites, which began in mid-July, is being conducted to quell what the central government perceives as the harmful influences of the Internet.

There are 87 million Internet users in China, with usage exploding in recent years.

(Xinhua News Agency August 20, 2004)

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