CHINA / National

Major news websites back Internet self-censorship
Updated: 2006-04-12 08:53

China's central news websites on Tuesday backed the proposal of major Beijing-based portals for self-censorship and the eradication of pornographic and violent Internet content.

In a joint announcement, 11 news websites vehemently supported the initiative, saying it represents the aspiration of China's Internet users.

"Chinese websites are capable and confident of resisting indecent Internet content," the announcement said.

The central websites are China's major channels of Internet news releases and the main sources of news on other websites. "We all agree and actively respond to the joint proposal," the announcement said.

The websites also vowed to play a leading role in self-censoring Internet content in compliance with the "Eight Honors and Disgraces", a new concept of socialist morality set forth by Hu Jintao, president and general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, recently.

"We will make the Internet a vital publisher of scientific theories, spread the advanced cultures and promote decency, so as to boost economic growth, maintain social stability, and promote the building of a socialist harmonious society," they pledged.

The websites include,,,, and

Fourteen Beijing-based portals on Sunday said in a joint proposal that they were blocking "unhealthy" content and inspired all portals to join them.

They included,,, and Yahoo's Chinese website.

"We are in a stern opposition to indecent on-line messages that undermine public morality and the culture and fine traditions of the Chinese people," the proposal acknowledged.

"No indecent texts and photos, no search engines for such content, no links to indecent websites, and no games involving sex and violence," it promised.

The proposal also urged Internet portals to ban illegal, obscene, and "poor taste" photos, texts or audio messages on on-line forums, chat-rooms and blogs.

China has approximately 700,000 portals and more than 111 million Internet users. The government has launched campaigns to clean up cyberspace, in a conscientious effort to promote a healthy cultural environment.

The People's Daily, a leading newspaper of the country, on Monday published a commentary to praise the proposal.

"It shows the mainstream of China's websites are healthy and positive. They are responsible, competent, and confident in the fight against indecent on-line content," it said.

"Only a handful of portals are ... sabotaging the interests of the people and the country," the paper said in its commentary. "It seems that websites with indecent messages have a market potentialand profits, but as they betray the interests of the majority of people, they won't stay long."