China shut down more than 60,000 pornographic websites this year, netting almost 5,000 suspects in the process, a government spokesman said on Thursday, vowing no let-up in its campaign against material deemed obscene.
Beijing has run a highly publicized drive against what officials said was smutty and lewd content overwhelming the country’s Internet and cell phones, threatening the emotional health of children.
Critics accuse the Chinese government of deepening the crackdown, launched last December, and tightening overall censorship, and say that the push has netted many sites with politically sensitive or even simply user-generated content.
But Wang Chen, head of the State Council Information Office, or cabinet spokesman’s office, said the offensive was vital.
“Our campaign has been a great success and this has not been achieved easily,” he told a news conference. “We have made the Internet environment much cleaner than before as there was a lot of pornography available.
“We have changed this situation and this has been well received by many sectors across society,” Wang said. “But our campaign has not come to a stop. This will be a long battle.”