The National Anti-Pornography and Anti-Illegal Publications Office has the task of educating China’s youth on copyright issues, to ‘purify’ the publication market by removing pirated and illegal publications. The office launched a new campaign this August targeting pirated education materials, a campaign that turned out to be a huge success.
Less than a month after it was launched the office has already seized more than 4 million pirated teaching materials. As a result a massive 182 printing companies were shut down as well as 100,000 stalls where the illegal teaching materials were sold.
“The situation of illegal publications is generally under control… However, pirate issue is still obvious. Those pirated teaching materials especially harm the healthy development of the country’s youth,” Li Baozhong, vice director of the National Anti-Pornography and Anti-Illegal Publications Office, said at a press conference earlier this week.
Baozhong did not elaborate on how knowledge and education will harm children’s health, but we assume that it has something to do with content that the Government may not approve of. How educational materials could hurt one’s health remains a mystery though.
China is of course known for its censorship and notoriously blocks websites that may ‘harm’ its citizens including Wikipedia, YouTube, Flickr and Facebook. Interestingly, BitTorrent sites have never been targeted and almost all of the are still accessible today.