BEIJING -- Chinese police handled 2.4 million pieces of harmful information on the Web in a crackdown during the first 10 months of this year, officials said on Thursday.
Of the total, there were 1.6 million pornographic items, 300,000 items related to guns or explosives and more than 200,000 items involving swindling and gambling.
Using the online information as evidence, police uncovered more than 1,300 criminal cases including more than 400 pornography-related crimes and more than 860 that involved guns, explosives or fraud.
The police also uncovered 55 cases of people spreading rumors on the Web and 10 cases where swindlers sought to cheat donors in the relief efforts after the May 12 earthquake in Sichuan Province. That quake killed more than 80,000 people and left millions homeless in the region.
On January 22, a 10-month special crackdown against online fraud and scams was launched, with the involvement of 13 central departments including the Ministry of Public Security, the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, and the Ministry of Education.
The authorities punished or closed hundreds of Websites that violated the law, with the participation of the country's top search engine operators.
In just one week, they helped screen 154 million Webpages containing harmful information, cut more than 7 million connections to Websites with harmful information and deleted more than 1.53 million pornographic images and some 4.7 million Webpage snapshots.
Officials said there had been a marked decline in the amount of harmful information on the Web owing to the crackdown. Also, they said, domestic Website operators and most netizens had become more law-abiding.