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Crackdown launched on cell phone porn

[ 2009-11-20 10:34]     字号 [] [] []  
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China Mobile, the country's largest wireless carrier, is coming under pressure to shut off access to pornography through its cell phone network.

The move comes as online sites accessible only through mobile phones are becoming a popular new method for distributing porn, since the technology makes it harder for the government to track and shut them down.

In the process however, wireless carriers are making extra money off the fees they charge the companies.

Wireless carriers are the major beneficiaries of pornographic sites, Xinhua reported, citing officials from the Ministry of Public Security.

Carriers charge subscribers for wireless access to the Internet. They also take a cut of the fees for extra items such as pictures and video clips.

Attention has recently been focused on carriers like China Mobile, who are benefiting from the illegal businesses.

Media coverage of the pornographic websites has prompted China Mobile to block access to those sites and scrap contracts with the companies exposed by media reports, a company official said yesterday.

There are nearly 650 million cell phone users in China, offering distributors of porn a huge and profitable market.

"Profits are the biggest incentive for cell phone websites to carry porn," said Shi Xiansheng, assistant to the secretary-general of the Internet Society of China.

It costs only 1 yuan (14 cents) to register a domain name and 251 yuan annually to rent a storage space of three gigabytes in a server, according to the industry group.

But proceeds from running a website with pornographic content can amount to as much as a thousand times the costs of running it.

Crackdown launched on cell phone porn

About the broadcaster:

Crackdown launched on cell phone porn

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.