Net Nanny Follies

18,401 websites shut down

Last week Danwei republished some annoyed comments from Chinese bloggers who reported that thousands of websites and servers have been shut down this month, presumably in the run-up to the 17th Party Congress when all netizens should be aware that this is not the time to engage in any horseplay about 'sensitive' subjects.

Tuesday's Shanghai Daily confirmed the blogger's reports but said that most of the shutdowns were because of pornographic content:

China disconnects 18,400 illegal Websites

China blocked access to 18,401 illegal Websites during a nationwide campaign against online pornography that started in April, an industry newspaper reported today.

A total of 9,593 unregistered Websites were shut down while 8,808 Websites were closed for disseminating pornographic, illicit or fraudulent pictures and information on the Internet, said Miao Wei, deputy general manager of China Telecom, the country's biggest telecommunication carrier, which was involved in the campaign.

The campaign was launched by the Ministry of Public Security and nine other departments on April 12, the Communication and Information News said.

The campaign also required major Chinese portals, including,, and, to conduct self-examinations and shut down problematic channels.

China now has almost 162 million Internet users, and the figure is growing by eight percent a year, according to the report.

It also added that the number of Chinese-language pornographic Websites was estimated at 500,000 around the world, while there are around two million English porn sites, the report said.

Online fraud is also becoming rampant, the report noted.

Shangdong police last month cracked China's biggest online pyramid sales scam, which involved 170,000 people and 1.36 billion yuan (US$180 million).

On August 30, the Ministry of Information Industry also ordered main search engines, including Baidu, Google, Yahoo, Zhongsou, Sina and Sogou, to remove "illegal and unhealthy information" from their search results.

The Shanghai Daily is controlled by that city's government.

In 2003, your correspondent was involved in a deal for a Chinese company to take over the operations of the newspaper; the final approval for the deal had to come from Chen Liangyu, the mayor and Party secretary who is now in jail on corruption charges.

In 2005, the magazine was revamped with some involvement and investment from Kerry Stokes, owner of Australia's Seven network. The newspaper has been steadily improving since then, and often manages to report real news.

There are currently 3 Comments for 18,401 websites shut down.

Comments on 18,401 websites shut down

A porn post without a reference to Skinhua?

8000 porn websites shut down, and "Foreign actresses urgently needed in Beijing".
I thought the two might be connected for a moment.

So the Shanghai Daily is the magazine referred to in the last paragraph of this post?

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