Chinese police have apprehended 10 suspects for allegedly producing, selling and purchasing discs of Hong Kong's nude celebrity photos in the southern city of Shenzhen.
Police confiscated about 250 such discs involving entertainer Edison Chen and some female starlets, in addition to six computers used to produce the discs, in the city neighboring Hong Kong a week ago, the Southern Metropolitan News reported Wednesday.
Three suspects were given five-day administrative detention, and two others, a 19-year-old man surnamed Jiang and a 27-year-old man surnamed Ma, were under criminal detention and still being questioned by police, the paper said, citing the Shenzhen Municipal Public Security Bureau.
"The police authorities will severely crack down on the criminal activities of manufacturing, selling and spreading discs of Hong Kong's celebrity photos and other porn productions," a police spokesman was quoted as saying.
Last month, photos of the Canadian-born Chen caught in sexual acts with various Hong Kong starlets surfaced on the Internet and have spread like wildfire ever since.
Thirteen on-line portals on the Chinese mainland have issued a joint statement asking domestic websites to boycott such nude photos.
It urged netizens and website staff to be self-disciplined and prevent the posting and dissemination of such images by pledging not to download, spread or speculate on the photos.
So far, more than 40 domestic websites have supported the statement and many Chinese netizens have pledged not download or spread the Chen photos.
In addition, Chinese Internet search engine Baidu.com has been asked by Beijing's Internet self-discipline organization to make a public apology for spreading the photos.
The Beijing Internet news information review council, initiated by the government-sponsored Beijing Association of Online Media, issued a statement on Monday, criticizing the Nasdaq-listed website's conduct in relation to the photos.
The statement meanwhile praised other big Chinese mainland websites, including Sohu.com, Sina.com and Netease, as they called for Internet users "not to download, save and spread the photos" and "to prevent the photos from falling into the hands of children."
(Xinhua News Agency February 20, 2008)