China's cultural authorities are waging war on a series of major online video sites suspected of spreading cartoons containing pornography and violence.
The Ministry of Culture on Tuesday accused several websites – including Internet giants Tudou.com, Youku.com, iQiyi.com, LeTV.com, sohu.com, and QQ.com – of providing online access to animated videos that glorify violence, sex and terrorism, harm social morality and may induce children and teenagers to commit crimes, according to the ministry's official website.
Many Japanese-made productions were intensely criticized, including the cartoon "Terror in Resonance," which tells the story of a teenager who steals nuclear materials to make a bomb to take revenge against a country. "Blood-C" and "High School of the Dead" are both alleged to involve bloody scenes of graphic violence and gore as well as pornography.
The Ministry of Culture said that according to China's online cultural administration and online video services regulations, online cartoons should not contain content that harms minors. The ministry asserted that several cartoon channels on the abovementioned video sites have a weak awareness of the laws and regulations concerning video content and did not devote enough attention to these cartoons and the necessary censorship of them. The ministry said they found 12 animations with more than 1 million views on Tudou.com which seriously violate the regulations. Eight animated videos on Kumi.cn – whose target audience is young children – were found to hype violence, terrorism and sex.
Liu Qiang, vice director of the market department of the Ministry of Culture, said that the ministry has solid evidence of violations and has asked those Internet giants to learn their lesson and enhance their own internal mechanisms for content examination and approval. The punishment for the companies will be announced later. The ministry also plans to train executive officers at accused internet video streaming companies to improve their services.
Liu added that the ministry will draw up a blacklist of companies to further strengthen the supervision on the online cultural market.
The ministry already shut down 10 cartoon sites and punished and fined nine online cartoon companies in a previous campaign last December. The latest list is the result of their 23rd campaign to crack down on the companies involved in cultural activities that violate laws and regulations.