After phone sex, china targets new year geomancy
China has targeted fortune-telling as its next target in a crackdown on illegal telephone content after going after phone sex.
The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television has banned "birthday decoding" and "new year fortune-telling" text message and telephone services on the grounds they promoted superstition, Xinhua news agency said.
"Any advertisements that harm young minds or violate regulations will be banned immediately," Xinhua quoted the administration as saying in a statement.
Interest in China's traditional fortune-telling arts spikes every year around the start of the Lunar New Year. The Year of the Rooster begins on Feb. 9.
Roadside vendors sell calendars charting weekly fortunes priced under $1 at intersections around Beijing. Many people, especially in southeast China, seek geomancy masters' guidance on financial, career and personal matters.
The phone fortunes ban comes on the heels of China's sharp crackdown on pornography in 2004, in which the government ordered severe punishment of phone sex operators and shut down hundreds of Web sites.