China Telecom, the country's major telecommunications operator, vowed on Tuesday to tighten monitoring of service providers on its Vnet.cn website after an online adult movie scandal.
Last week, a user surnamed Qiao brought a lawsuit against the website's Hunan channel for providing "a great deal of" pornographic movies, as reported by China Youth Daily on June 21.
Immediately following the report, the channel's operator, Hunan Telecom, terminated relations with the service provider, Hunan Hexun Technology Co., and blacklisted the company, said a statement from China Telecom.
Meanwhile, managers of the channel's operating center were suspended, said the statement.
China Telecom said it would set up inspection teams inside the company and in its provincial units, adopt a real-time monitoring method and welcome public supervision.
Some local telecommunication firms ignored the responsibility of censoring content provided by their partners, which was the main cause of the incident, said Wang Yongzhen, a China Telecom executive.
China Telecom would accelerate building of its information security technology platform for Vnet.cn and adopt an automatic identification and filtering system for online pornography, said Yang Keke, general manager of the company's Internet and value-added service department.
"But technically, it is quite difficult for us to accurately identify pornographic pictures and videos, which are different from text information," said Yang.
China lacked a law specifically defining online pornography, so some service providers were able to take advantage of loopholes in the rules and regulations, he added.
The government had stepped up anti-pornography efforts since April in a campaign targeting illegal online activities such as distributing pornographic material and organizing strip shows, to purge the web of sexually explicit images, stories, and audio and video clips.
By mid-May, Chinese police had dealt with 244 cases and arrested 270 people in connection with online pornography.
The number of Internet users in China reached 123 million in mid-2006. About 15 percent, or 18 million, are under the age of 18.
(Xinhua News Agency June 27, 2007)