China’s Losing War on Pornography—Viewed as a Single Page

Before I introduce the topic of China’s war on pornography, I felt it necessary to first mention the scope of this crime in America.  If I didn’t, I think China’s critics/enemies would go out of the way to accuse the Chinese of being perverts and criminals—or something worse for China’s Communist Party, the CCP.

In 1982, the U.S. Supreme Court added child pornography as another category of speech excluded from First Amendment protection. The other categories excluded were obscenity, defamation, incitement, and fighting words.

However, for the last 15 years, the distribution of on-line child pornography has been the fastest growing crime in America (it has grown 100% annually). –

The U.S. Justice Department says, “Congress recently significantly increased the maximum prison sentences for child pornography crimes and in some instances created new mandatory minimum sentences. These prison terms can be substantial, and where there have been prior convictions for child sexual exploitation, can result in a life sentence.”

Fifty-five percent of global child pornography comes from the US.

Family Safe says, every second, more than $3 million is spent on pornography; every second, more than 28,000 Internet users are viewing pornography and every 39 minutes a new pornographic video is being created in the United States.

US porn revenue exceeds the combined revenues of ABC, CBS, and NBC. In fact, the world’s top video porn producers are in the United States.

In 2006, Family Safe reported that revenue from worldwide pornography reached almost $100 billion—$27 billion in China and more than $13 billion in the United States.”

Before you conclude that China is more perverted than the United States, because $27 billion is more than twice #13 billion, stop and consider that China has more than four times the population. To match the US average per person, China’s share for buying porn would have to total more than $54 billion.

I’ve also read complaints about China’s control and attempt at censorship over the Internet and media. The Western media and China’s critics/enemies love to hate the CCP’s attempt to control content on the Internet. Imagine, not being able to practice Yellow Journalism with a potential audience of 1.3 billion people. Think of all the newspapers and magazines that could be sold to such a vast audience if the CCP would relax its controls over the media in China.

In early 2010, in the war against pornography, China recruited moms. Who better to protect children? Even most Westerners should agree that child pornography is not a good thing. Polluting the minds of and abusing children to make money off them should be ranked alongside heroin or crack with a death sentence or at last a life sentence after surgery to become a eunuch.

Child Porn on Facebook

Since I’m married to a Chinese mother, and I know how dedicated Chinese moms are to their children, I’d rather have a U.S. Marine parked on my butt, and I thought: “Beware pornographers. You may have met your match.”

However, while doing research on this topic, I learned that even China’s famous tiger mothers may not be enough to stem the tide of pornography.

China’s war on pornography was launched in 2004, and in July of that year, Danwei reported, “Xinhua quotes an unnamed official who says China is going to wage a ‘people’s war against porn’: Pornographic activities have been rampant online in recent years, and have severely damaged social style, polluted the social environment, and harmed the physical and psychological health of the young people, said the official, who is also a state councilor and minister of public security.”

In 2005, Arts reported, “The Chinese government regularly censors Internet content in an effort to diminish the distribution of politically subversive material, but now the communist state is expanding its control and targeting Internet pornography web sites as well. According to a Chinese government official, 221 people have been arrested, and almost 600 web sites have been shut down since March in a crackdown on ‘obscene’ Internet content.”

In 2006, Why We reported, “Chen Hui was sentenced to a life in jail on Wednesday for having created the largest porn site in China … Xinhua News Agency said judges at the Taiyuan Intermediate People’s Court in Shanxi province gave the life sentence to Chen Hui and handed down terms of 13 months to 10 years to eight others after they were convicted of profiting from pornographic dissemination.

“Chen, 28, and his accomplices started the Qingseliuyuetian (Pornographic Summer) Web site in 2004, and opened a further three porn Web sites, attracting more than 600,000 users.”

In 2007, Spam reported, “Virtually, 5,000 websites were shut down, 270 culprits detained, and more than 160,000 of harmful materials was seized in the one month long assault that China made on online pornography, as reported by state media.

“Despite a drastic drop, cyber porn is still a concern,” Public-Security Vice Minister Zhang Xinfeng said this while calling for extra efforts for bringing the domestic cyber porn under control, and blocking its overseas sources.

In 2008, the Financial Times reported, “China has vowed to drive on with its multi-ministry crackdown on online pornography until after the Beijing Olympics, extending a campaign that last year led to the detention of 868 people and the deletion of 440,000 prurient postings.

“Publicly prudish Communist party leaders bill the action as a vital part of a wider drive to ‘purify’ the internet by eliminating immoral or politically dangerous content.”

In 2009, English reported, “China shut down or blocked more than 140,000 mobile WAP sites offering pornography for mobile phone users in a five-month crackdown, an official said Monday.”

In 2010, Natural Order reported, “China’s anti-pornography campaign shut down more than 60,000 pornographic websites this year, with police investigating almost 2,200 criminal cases, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported Thursday. Wang Chen, director of the Information Office of the State Council, said at a news conference that some 350 million pieces of pornographic and indecent internet content were eliminated, according to the Xinhua report.

“Overall, the campaign included 2,197 criminal cases involving 4,965 people who violated Chinese law by disseminating pornography via the internet or mobile phones, the news agency said. Of those, 58 people received prison sentences exceeding five years, the report said.”

Then in August 2011, The Wall Street Journal reported, “Beijing’s war against pornography is infamous for producing an inordinate amount of collateral damage … Despite the sledge-hammer strategy, sex scholar Katrine Jacobs says in an interview published Tuesday by the Web magazine Danwei, China’s guardians of public morality are losing, badly.”

Is anyone surprised?

As a comparison — since 1990 (a period of more than twenty years compared to the eight for China’s war on porn), China arrested 30 high profile democracy advocates with others on watch lists similar to America’s list of state enemies, which has about 21,000 names of known or suspected terrorists on it. “Both U.S. intelligence and law enforcement communities and foreign services continue to identify people who want to cause us harm.” CBS

China’s list has nineteen names of people to be arrested on entry to China; fourteen that are to be refused re-entry and nineteen to be dealt with “according to the circumstances of the situation”.

Compare those numbers with the numbers of China’s losing war being waged on pornography, and what does that tell us? From the numbers, it appears that the Chinese people have spoken with their actions that say pornography is desired more than democracy.

And let’s not forget that in 1982, the U.S. Supreme Court added child pornography as another category of speech excluded from First Amendment protection. In addition, the US Congress made this a crime that might lead to a life sentence in jail.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

Finalist in Fiction & Literature – Historical Fiction
The National “Best Books 2010” Awards


Honorable Mentions in General Fiction
2012 San Francisco Book Festival
2012 New York Book Festival
2012 London Book Festival
2009 Los Angeles Book Festival
2009 Hollywood Book Festival

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4 Responses to China’s Losing War on Pornography—Viewed as a Single Page

  1. Debbie says:

    Scary stuff. At least China’s government is trying to stem this obscene trade, according to your report. The western media is very hypocritical.

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