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China cracks down on "phone sex" services
Updated: 2004-08-18 01:22

China is carrying out a nationwide campaign to crack down on "phone sex" services, paralleling another sweeping operation against Internet pornography, Minister of Information Industry Wang Xudong said Tuesday.

The move, starting late July and lasting through October, was jointly launched by a number of departments with the central government, including the ministries of Information Industry and Public Security, the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the State Administration of Press and Publication, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Supreme People's Court, the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council.

"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 at a national teleconference on clamping down the notorious "phone sex" service.

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

Wang ordered local governments across the country to shut down "phone sex" operators and severely punish the responsible organizations. "This task must be finished before October 1," he said.

After that, all local governments are required to sum up their experiences and consolidate the achievements, while continuing the crackdown, and establishing a long-term mechanism for supervision and regulation.

Almost at the same time, China launched another sweeping campaign to crack down on the Internet pornography. So far, Chinese police have closed down about 700 porn websites and arrested 329 suspects.

China has seen a large increase of porn websites in recent years, harming the physical and mental health of the young people, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

The campaign mainly aims to crack down on websites offering lewd pictures, videos, movies and articles. It will also close those who attract Internet users to join in pornographic activities on-line or in real life.

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