China Shut 44K Porn Sites in '07, Jailed Hundreds
Ministry says 'young minds' are being 'perverted'
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2008 4:00 PM CST
A Chinese youth plays online game in a net cafe on January 21, 2008 in Chongqing Municipality, China. (Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – China took down 44,000 porn websites last year, arrested 868 people, and penalized 2,000 others. The Public Security Ministry said today that Internet pornography has “perverted China’s young minds,” the AP reports. Porn and paid sex are illegal in almost all forms in the country; the crackdown involved the seizure of cash and film equipment.

In one instance, 33 people were collared for involvement in a site that hosted live sex shows; 23 of those arrested were performers—who were subsequently held for 15 days. China has struggled to block access to internationally-run porn sites. The communist state has 210 million web users and could surpass the US this year as the home to the world’s biggest online population.