China's press and publication watchdog Tuesday announced a campaign to shut down pornography websites nationwide.
As of last week, about 348 domestic websites were found to be posting and distributing porn novels and pictures Song Jianxin, director of the Internet supervision sector under the National Office of Anti-porn and Illegal Publications, said.
Eight websites including 517z.com, xs4.xggirl.com and book.maobob.com were ordered to permanently shut down for the "extremely negative impact" they caused by posting 40 online porn novels.
"The contents were full of exaggerated and explicit description of sex. It harms and misleads the young who are still growing and lack reasonable judgment," Song said.
Li Baozhong, director of the market supervision department of the national press watchdog said distributing porn novels violated laws, publication regulations and Internet information service regulations.
All blacklisted websites are being put under close watch by press regulators and public security authorities at all levels.
"The violators will be heavily fined and punished," Li said.
The watchdog also revealed a recent crackdown on pirated publications.
The market enforcement team in Central China's Hunan province smashed a gang producing pirated books.
About 627,000 pirated books worth of 20.3 million yuan (US$2.67 millon) were seized.
It included teaching materials of New Concept English and reference books for student tests, whose copyrights belong to about 21 domestic publishing houses.
Four were arrested and one official from the Hunan press watchdog, accused of taking bribes and helping to facilitate the illegal practice, was removed from his post.
"We're facing unprecedented complexity in fighting for intellectual property rights protection," Li said.
"IPR infringement is becoming more complex as violators turn to more sophisticated ways to carry out their trade."
(China Daily August 15, 2007)