Chinese Police Begin Crackdown on Child Porn

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China, January 12, 2017 – Beijing Today

Hidden deep below the underground world of common pornography in China is something illegal in all but a handful of countries: child pornography.

In recent weeks, Chinese police have caught a number of organizations, websites and people involved in the production and distribution of child pornography within the country.

Parents across China were captivated by Cui Yahan, the child star from a humble background who won fans with her appearance on Where Are We Going, Dad? Her rapid rise to fame inspired many to turn their children into “child celebrities.”

But many of the talent agencies online that promise to make children between the ages of 12 and 18 into stars are shadier than they appear.

Forums have many stories of young children contacting “children’s apparel companies” and “CCTV child star judges” hoping to find an entrance to the industry.

In most cases, the companies introduced them to someone who posed as a competition judge and introduced various requirements for children’s figures and appearance.

The children – especially girls – were then instructed to strip down and shoot a series of sexy poses to prepare for the interview. Parents and children who expressed doubts about these instructions were told the pictures would be used for a reference in clothing design and selection.

Reporters found many similar operations on Baidu Tieba and other social media platforms. A search for key words such as “star detectives” and “young star training” revealed many victims who shared their experiences of being recorded.

Many had parents who put them in contact with the “star detectives.” A few sought them out on their own.

Reporters posed as a 15-year-old girl and contacted one of the companies, which asked for recent selfie taken while lying down. When reporters refused, the company asked for photos of their face and naked body. After reporters hesitated a second time, the company said they were squandering their one chance at stardom.

Another company asked for body measurement, hobbies and normal selfies. After receiving the photos, the representative, who claimed to be a female, asked for video interview. Reporters refused, and the representative asked for more photos that showed the body without underwear.

When children or their parents cooperate, the companies begin to seek nude videos. Buyers only purchase original nude content featuring women and girls, with girls fetching a higher price. Reporters posed as a buyer and learned that videos of girls cost 300 yuan.

Buyers collect the videos on their websites or in QQ groups and sell premium access. There are also some groups where users trade content.

The growing number of such videos has caught the attention of the China Foundation of Culture and Arts for Children and police.

In November, Beijing police caught a group of eight people spreading child porn using encrypted websites.

Zhang Min, and officer at the Online Security Department of Beijing Police, told Beijing News that Sun Ping (pseudonym), a sophomore college student in Beijing, was one of users operating a darknet website that spread child pornography.

About 80 percent child pornographers use darknet websites and secure chat to spread their content.