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China cracks down on phone sex
Updated: 2005-01-08 14:23

The Chinese government has investigated about 700 phone services stations and closed 97 phone sex lines, sources with the Ministry of Information Industry (MII) said.

China has carried out a nationwide campaign to crack down on phone sex services starting from July 2004, paralleling another sweeping operation against Internet pornography.

Meanwhile, another 79 phone sex services advertising in newspapers or leaflets were punished, and suspects in Jilin and Hubei provinces were arrested for offering overseas phone sex services, the ministry said on Thursday.

Currently, China has 659 phone service stations with 15,000 employees. In 2003, the total revenue of phone services reached 1.57 billion yuan (189 million US dollars), government figures show.

"With the rapid development of the paid call service market in China, some lawbreakers make use of this form to spread obscene information and even conduct prostitution," said Wang Xudong, minister of Information Industry shortly after the campaign started.

"This depraves social morals, and especially brings great harm to the country's young minds," added Wang, saying the move would clean up the country's paid call service and ensure a wholesome development of the market.

Based on the present achievements scored through the nationwide crackdown, the government plans to establish a long-term mechanism for supervision and regulation of phone services, the ministry said.

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