China confiscates 149 mil publications in 2007


BEIJING - Chinese authorities confiscated nearly 149 million magazines, video disks and other publications in 2007 for being pornographic, pirated or otherwise unauthorized, the official Xinhua news agency said Monday.

China keeps a tight rein on broadcasting, publishing and news media, but that has not prevented the growth of a thriving black market for all sorts of publications, including pirated books, DVDs and software.

About 136 million of the confiscated items were pirated, while close to 4 million were pornographic and nearly 3.4 million were smuggled, Xinhua reported, citing the National Office for Cleaning Up Pornography and Fighting Illegal Publications.

It said that a recent campaign to fight "harmful" information online had led to the closure of 44,000 China-based pornographic Web sites and 14,000 such sites run by people outside China.

Beijing has been tightening its grip over what it considers "vulgar" entertainment.

Last week it ordered music and video producers to scour their inventories for risque materials and placed restrictions on Internet sites that allow users to upload video or audio.