Profits behind Web porn
China has launched a nationwide campaign to purify the cyberspace, cracking down on websites with vulgar and obscene content.
The campaign is reportedly aimed at protecting the youth from being contaminated by inappropriate stuff online.
In fact, front pages of many sites are stuffed with sexually provocative pictures, video clips that show violence, or articles playing up extra-marital affairs. Since free-wheeling Internet is wider open and less regulated than traditional media, it is easier for the young minds to get hooked on it intertwined with erotic things.
Indeed, China has laws prohibiting the websites containing lewd content. But why so many of them, even major portals, choose to turn a blind eye to the laws? I believe it is definitely based on pecuniary interest.
If a websites has more clicks, it will generate more ad revenues. In short, more eyes, more money. How many netizens have viewed the page has become the overriding factor to measure Web editors and a website.
Compared with a 1,000-word serious analysis, photos like wardrobe malfunction, racier-than-naked women, and titles with sexually suggestive words are almost guaranteed to garner far more hits. Then the webmaster rakes in a pretty penny.
I think it is scarcely possible to let many netizens voluntarily stay impervious to sensual stuff online. Therefore it falls on the related authorities to do their part like imposing harsher punishment on law-breaking websites, helping parents worry less about their child surfing on the Internet. And the authorities are just doing that.
Wang Ting in Shanghai
Make house prices reasonable
Real estate tycoon Ren Zhiqiang recently said the Beijing municipal government should loosen restrictions on housing policies to encourage house owners to buy a second house, and attract people from other provinces and even overseas to buy houses in Beijing.
Outspoken Ren, who raised great concerns by defying any calls for housing price cut, in fact tells the truth that the wealthy people are all to blame for the real estate bubbles.
The public has been condemning commercial houses' skyrocketing prices . But while they were complaining, real estate developers tried to seek every excuse available, such as limited land supply or expensive property intermediary charges, to maintain unreasonably high house prices and their huge profits.
Now, being gradually depleted by the financial crisis, these real estate developers have no way but to tell the truth in order to get help from government.
We can tell from Ren's suggestion that those real estate developers still want to keep unreasonably high housing prices. In fact, if they cut the prices to a level ordinary people can afford, there will be no crisis for the housing market in China.
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(China Daily 01/15/2009 page9)