Websites shut over illegal PR deals

Updated: 2011-08-29 08:06


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BEIJING - China's telecommunications authorities have shut down 6,600 websites nationwide over illegal public relations (PR) deals as part of a special campaign that began in April, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

Most of the websites involved illegal groups that claimed to specialize in deleting online news stories and critical postings or hiring other netizens to disseminate selected data or opinions on the Internet.

Also during the campaign, industry and commerce departments across the country cracked 150 cases of illegal online PR deals and confiscated more than 1.13 million yuan ($176,500), with a focus on online advertisements, forums and bulletin board systems.

Official figures show that more than 790,000 online postings and articles, as well as 1.65 million cached pages that contained illegal online PR content, had been deleted as part of the campaign by the end of June.

The campaign was jointly launched by the State Internet Information Office, MIIT, the Ministry of Public Security and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC).

According to the SAIC, government departments will explore long-term joint methods of cracking down on illegal PR deals.