Chinese authorities have continued their war against online porn after closing down 225 websites, 4,000 Web channels and columns, and 30,000 blogs and microblogs which stood accused of “disseminating obscene and vulgar information”.

The People’s Daily — one of a number of government-run news outlets — reported the news via a statement released by the State Internet Information Office — although it isn’t quite clear how officials differentiate between websites/channels/blogs, each of which could be considered a website.

This the latest in a long line of government initiatives aimed at cutting down on pornography on the Chinese Web, which have been ongoing since even before 2009. Since China does not permit access to a range of popular Western services — such as Facebook and Twitter — it is hardly surprising that porn is a target for authorities.

In what is quite an ironic twist, word of a video taken from a lecture given to Chinese prostitutes has emerged online today. The Nanfang spotted the video which appears to have been shot at a seminar, during which a stern lecturer provides tips and recommendations for working girls seeking to use the Internet and social services to gain “higher level customers”.

The video has racked up more than 1 million views — thanks to being shared more than 1,000 times on Sina Weibo. While not strictly pornographic, you would suspect that this video is not the kind of content that Chinese officials want on the Internet.

China is, of course, not alone in its quest against adult content, many governments worldwide fight the industry — Iceland is seeking a ban on porn, although the UK rejected a proposal to enact similar legislation. Internet porn is a particular issue in Asia. Indonesia blocked an estimated one million pornographic websites ahead of Ramadan last year, and Singapore, Thailand and other countries regular block access to such sites.

Despite China’s very public announcement of a new crackdown on porn, Martin Johnson — from China-based Web tracking service GreatFire.org — told TNW last fall that the measures are often little more than symbolism and PR. For example, GreatFire.org has found a number of China’s fastest-loading foreign websites are pornographic sites, which is somewhat at odds with government measures to ‘protect’ citizens from adult content.

For further reading (which is suitable for work), see: From ASCII to streaming video: How the Internet created a multi-billion dollar porn industry

And, via the Wall Street Journal’s excellent Real Time China blog: Former Softcore Porn Star Is China’s Hottest New Politician

Headline image via Shutterstock