China has ordered a ban on the sale of audio and video products containing elements of mystery and horror. The move is the latest initiative to "protect the country's children and teenagers' psychological development", according to a newly-issued government circular.
According to the General Administration of Press and Publications (GAPP) circular, such audio and video products usually "involve alien-looking characters and fictional story telling, both specifically plotted for the sole purpose of terror".
It said the horror, violence and cruelty involved in these audio and videos were unfit for children, and extremely harmful for their psychological development.
The circular instructed all existing publications involving elements of mystery and horror to be off the market, and ordered audios and videos in production to delete any hint of mystery and horror.
China began its crackdown on so-called "terrifying publications" in April 2006, specifically targeting a Japanese comic story Death Note. It involved a notebook that can kill people if their names are written in it.
The comic depicted various scary ways of dying, according to GAPP.
China also started a cleansing campaign against "vulgar" content in video and audio products starting this year. It ordered audio and video producers to stop the production and sale of vulgar products and recall those already on the market.
(Xinhua News Agency February 14, 2008)