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Anti-porn authorities to suspend Sina’s license

2014-04-25 08:44 Global Times Web Editor: Li Yan

National anti-porn authorities on Thursday said they intended to pull Sina's business license, a NASDAQ-listed company and one of China's largest news portals, for allegedly publishing pornographic information.

The National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications made the announcement Thursday that they have sent copies of its notice to Sina in Beijing, requesting the company to cease its Internet publishing business and Internet video program broadcasting.

Sina is accused of posting 20 books with pornographic information on its book-reading channel and four video programs containing pornographic material. The company is also asked to pay a fine that is five to 10 times the revenue of the illegal programs.

Suspects allegedly involved in the illegal operation have been handed to police for investigation.

Sina was listed on the NASDAQ in 2000 and its Twitter-like product Weibo started offering shares on NASDAQ last week.

As of press time, Sina shares opened low on Thursday and its stock price dropped by 7.55 percent with a subscription price of $49.22.

In response to the office, Sina posted a circular later on Thursday admitted that the website was indeed slack in supervising its content.

Additionally, Net users reported that the Weibo accounts of three Japanese porn movie actors and actresses cannot be accessed.

However, Sora Aoi's account, another Japanese porn star who is popular in China, was still accessible. She has 14.8 million followers on Weibo.

News portal NetEase related the closure of the accounts to the recently launched campaign against the spread of pornography online.

The campaign, Cleaning the Web 2014, was started earlier this month by the anti-porn office in an effort to better supervise the Internet.

All online texts, pictures, videos and advertisements with pornographic content will be deleted, while websites, telecom operators and Web portals were asked to conduct self-examination immediately and clean up information and links.

Beijing has ordered local registered websites to delete 40,584 online porn messages and shut down 241 accounts that violated moral regulations, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

Separately, Guangzhou Daily reported Thursday that characters in webpage games are not allowed to show sensitive parts of the body.

Clothes such as short-sleeved shirts, shorts, bikinis and swimming trunks are prohibited in games, Chinese game developers were told by the government, who did not specify what parts of the body are considered sensitive.

Game developers said they were told that male and female characters shall not have any form of body contact.

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