China Closes 8,000 Sites in Anti-Black Market Campaign

The Chinese Ministry of Public Security revealed that authorities terminated the activity of thousands of websites that were considered to be involved in illegal commercial activities as part of an operation targeting the black markets and any other services considered to be a threat to public safety.

The numbers supplied by China Daily show that 7,846 websites were shut down, 1.2 million online posts were removed, and 1,075 ISPs were fined.

Besides the operation that targeted mainly online assets, investigators also arrested 905 criminal suspects, took out a number of 53 criminal collectives, and the destroyed 57 manufacturing and sales facilities.

The individuals and companies in question are accused of selling anything from illegally obtained sensitive information, weapons, explosives, dangerous chemicals, and tracking devices.

Penn-Olson informs that among the sites that were taken under supervision there are a couple of major ones such as Tianya, the large community of Internet users that not long ago was suspected of being hacked, Sohu, End of the World community, and Baidu.

Chinese law enforcement representatives claim that these sites hosted illegal information and made it available for almost anyone. Now, if the websites’ owners fail to turn their operations into legal ones, they’ll find themselves on the list of terminated sites.

Ministry of Public Security officials say that the “cleansing” operations will continue with the purpose of maintaining pressure on any organizations that may be dealing with illegal and criminal activities.

Local reports reveal that the operation began after the country’s Cyber Police received complaints from Internet users who were defrauded of $60,000 (42,000 EUR) in the past period.

Similar operations were launched by other law enforcement agencies worldwide, but in China, the large population makes the numbers that highlight the results be significantly higher than anywhere else. 

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