Cultural authorities in this Guangzhou city have vowed to step up their crackdown on illegal trading of optical discs containing nude photos of Hong Kong actor/singer Edison Chen Kwoon-hei and several other celebrities.
"Optical discs containing the illicit photos have been available in local markets since the scandal broke in January," said Mo Zhihong, deputy director of the Guangzhou cultural market and law-enforcement department.
Mo said the cultural authorities have been working with police to inspect local major audio and video markets.
Yesterday, the Guangzhou cultural market and law-enforcement authority confiscated more than 300 such optical discs, said Mo.
"We will soon conduct a citywide inspection campaign on audio and video shops in order to get such immoral products out of the market," said Mo.
At the downtown Liwan District Electronics Market, optical discs labeled "hot celebrity nude photos" were sold at 10-40 yuan each in some shops.
"Usually, we sell this kind of products at a price of just 5 yuan. But this incident - Chen's nude photo scandal - has been so hot," said an unnamed shopkeeper.
The shopkeeper said "supplies have been very tight" in the local market. "So we have to increase the price," he said.
He added that there have been teenagers coming to buy the discs. "They know all the celebrities involved in the scandal," he said.
Parents have been worried about the negative effects that such photos would bring to their children.
"My son used to be very keen on Gillian Chung, one of the celebrities involved in the sex photo scandal," said Huang Qiuxia, a 45-year-old mother.
"I have once asked him not to log onto the Internet in case he would see the photos. But now I am more concerned that he might buy the discs. They are everywhere," Huang said.
Meanwhile in Dongguan, cultural authorities have also started inspecting audio and video markets, said Chen Zhiman, a local cultural official.
"Many of the discs have been brought in from Guangzhou and Shenzhen, we will work closely with our Guangzhou and Shenzhen counterparts to stamp out the trade," the cultural official said.
(China Daily HK Edition February 22, 2008)