TAIYUAN -- The creator of China's largest pornographic website was sentenced
to life imprisonment on Wednesday.
Judges at the Taiyuan Intermediate People's Court handed down the sentence to
Chen Hui and ordered the confiscation of 100,000 yuan (12,500 U.S. dollars).
The other eight organizers of the website were jailed for terms ranging from
13 months to ten years.
The nine were convicted of profiting from pornographic dissemination.
Apart from one who is over 50, the average age of the other eight criminals
is just 23.
Chen, 28, and his accomplices started the Qingseliuyuetian (pornographic
summer) website in 2004 and opened a further three porn websites, attracting
more than 600,000 users.
A police source said it was difficult to know the exact illegal profits of
the website because most of the money was spent or saved in foreign bank
The police found about 200,000 yuan (25,000 U.S. dollars) in the Chinese bank
accounts of the nine.
A member of the public complained to city police on June 21 last year that a
hospital website had changed to become the homepage of a porn website.
Police questioned the administrator of the website, Wang Jianfei, who
allegedly admitted he was in charge of the "Qingseliuyuetian" Taiyuan section.
Three months later, police in the provinces of Fujian, Guangdong, Jilin,
Liaoning, Anhui and Hubei arrested Chen and other organizers.
All the servers of "China's largest adult community" were based overseas and
Chen regularly changed the website's domain name, servers and Internet provider
address, the police said.
At first the four websites accepted about 200,000 registered members free of
charge, but demanded 199 to 266 yuan (25 to 33 U.S. dollars) in registration
fees from people who joined later.
Some paid more for a life membership. According to the police, a "top-level
VIP membership" sold at 3,999 yuan (500 U.S. dollars).
Commercial space on the website sold for 1,000 to 3,000 yuan (125 to 375 U.S.
dollars) per month.
On October 3 last year, when the website was closed down, the registered
members exceeded 600,000 around China.
The website contained more than nine million pornographic images and articles
and it had received more than 11 million clicks.