China's Porn Crackdown: No Extramarital Affairs or One-Night Stands

Illustration by: Lars Leetaru

The latest rules about pornographic content covers a bewildering array of sexual categories

China's ongoing crackdown on smutty online video content has been stepped up to include scenes of one-night stands, extramarital affairs, partner-swapping and excessive physical contact.

Local media reported that the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) had issued a ruling, which also banned scenes of sexual abuse, partner-swapping, flirtation, rape, incest, necrophilia, prostitution, sexual perversion and masturbation.

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Scenes showing murder, gore, suicide, kidnapping, drug abuse, gambling, ghostly scenes or "excessive horror" must be cut, while racy subtitles, headlines or anything containing reference to sex or nudity are also out.

It was not clear what this regulation means for shows such as Game of Thrones, The Good Wife or indeed pretty much any U.S. TV show that currently streams in China.

It may also affect hugely popular South Korean soap operas.

Earlier this month, SAPPRFT said foreign TV shows and movies streamed online would require permits before being shown in China.

Many of the areas in the regulations are already banned, but the new rules reinforce existing legislation. The government has been running a campaign against pornography and vulgarity in tandem with its anti-corruption campaign.

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The rule also bans websites from hosting voyeur cameras, pornographic texts or displaying "certain private parts", while anything showing abuse of animals, or the hunting or eating of protected species, must be deleted.

Particular attention will be paid to online music videos, short films, animations and selfies to make sure the rules are not violated, the watchdog warned.

Reactions online were mixed.

"According to this rule we can't watch action movies, romances or horror movies. Do they think we should watch the (state broadcaster) CCTV News everyday? Haha," wrote one person on the online messaging system QQ. Commenter Meiyu Sishui said it was time that China introduced some kind of rating system.

"You can't make people over 30 watch something for ten-year-olds."

Others welcomed the regulations.

"It's good that I don't have to worry about children's development. We need a purified cultural environment," wrote one commenter named Piaoxue.

Twitter: @cliffordcoonan

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